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The political economy of sin taxes

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  • Haavio, Markus
  • Kotakorpi, Kaisa

Abstract

We analyse the determination of taxes on harmful goods when consumers have self-control problems. We show that under reasonable assumptions, the socially optimal corrective tax exceeds the average distortion caused by self-control problems. Further, we analyse how individuals with self-control problems would vote on taxes on the consumption of harmful goods, and show that the equilibrium tax is typically below the socially optimal level. When the redistributive effects of sin taxes are taken into account, the difference between the social optimum and equilibrium is small at low levels of harm, but becomes more pronounced when consumption is more harmful.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 55 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (May)
Pages: 575-594

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:55:y:2011:i:4:p:575-594

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer

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Keywords: Excise taxation Voting Self-control;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Davide Dragone & Francesco Manaresi & Luca Savorelli, 2013. "Obesity and smoking: can we catch two birds with one tax?," Discussion Paper Series, Department of Economics 201306, Department of Economics, University of St. Andrews.
  2. PESTIEAU, Pierre & PONTHIERE, Grégory, . "Myopia, regrets, and risky behaviors," CORE Discussion Papers RP -2452, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. De Donder, Philippe & Leroux, Marie-Louise, 2012. "Behavioral Biases and Long Term Care Annuities: A Political Economy Approach," TSE Working Papers 12-352, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised Feb 2013.
  4. Michael Funke & Marc Gronwald, 2009. "A Convex Hull Approach to Counterfactual Analysis of Trade Openness and Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 2692, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Markus Haavio and Kaisa Kotakorpi, 2012. "Sin Licenses Revisited," Discussion Papers 75, Aboa Centre for Economics.
  6. Markus Haavio & Kaisa Kotakorpi, 2009. "The Political Economy of Sin Taxes," CESifo Working Paper Series 2650, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Adel Bosch & Steven F. Koch, 2014. "Using a Natural Experiment to Examine Tobacco Tax Regressivity," Working Papers 201424, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
  8. Bossi, Luca & Calcott, Paul & Petkov, Vladimir, 2013. "Optimal tax rules and addictive consumption," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 984-1000.
  9. DE DONDER, Philippe & LEROUX, Marie-Louise, 2013. "Behavioral biases and long term care insurance: A political economy approach," CORE Discussion Papers 2013020, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).

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