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Accounting for Product Substitution in the Analysis of Food Taxes Targeting Obesity

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  • Miao, Zhen
  • Beghin, John C.
  • Jensen, Helen H.

Abstract

We extend the existing literature on food taxes targeting obesity. First, we incorporate the implicit substitution between sugar and fat nutrients implied by a complete food demand system and by conditioning on how food taxes affect total calorie intake. Second, we propose a methodology that accounts for the ability of consumers to substitute leaner low-fat and low-sugar items for rich food items within the same food group. This substitution is integrated into a demand system in addition to substitution among food groups. Simulations of a tax on added sugars show that the impact of the tax on consumption patterns is understated and the effect on welfare loss overstated when abstracting from this substitution within food groups.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its series 2011 Annual Meeting, July 24-26, 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with number 103320.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea11:103320

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Keywords: discretionary calories; fat; food demand; health policy nutrition; low-fat; low-sugar substitutes; obesity; sugar; sweeteners; tax; Agricultural and Food Policy; Demand and Price Analysis; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; Health Economics and Policy; I18; Q18;

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  1. Sanjib Bhuyan & Rigoberto A. Lopez, 1997. "Oligopoly Power in the Food and Tobacco Industries," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(3), pages 1035-1043.
  2. Chouinard, Hayley H. & Davis, David E. & LaFrance, Jeffrey T. & Perloff, Jeffrey M., 2006. "Milk Marketing Order Winners and Losers," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21238, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  3. Richards, Timothy J. & Patterson, Paul M. & Tegene, Abebayehu, 2004. "Obesity And Nutrient Consumption: A Rational Addiction?," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 20079, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
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  6. Smed, Sinne & Jensen, Jorgen D. & Denver, Sigrid, 2007. "Socio-economic characteristics and the effect of taxation as a health policy instrument," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(5-6), pages 624-639.
  7. Jay Bhattacharya & M. Kate Bundorf, 2005. "The Incidence of the Healthcare Costs of Obesity," NBER Working Papers 11303, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Smith, Travis A. & Biing-Hwan, Lin & Lee, Jonq-Ying, 2010. "Taxing Caloric Sweetened Beverages: Potential Effects on Beverage Consumption, Calorie Intake, and Obesity," Economic Research Report 95465, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  9. Beghin, John C. & Bureau, Jean-Christophe & Drogu?, Sophie, 2004. "Calibration of Incomplete Demand Systems in Quantitative Analysis, The," Staff General Research Papers 11771, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  10. Zhen Miao & John C. Beghin & Helen H. Jensen, 2010. "Taxing Sweets: Sweetener Input Tax or Final Consumption Tax?," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 10-wp510, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
  11. Cash, Sean B. & Sunding, David L. & Zilberman, David, 2004. "Fat Taxes And Thin Subsidies: Prices, Diet, And Health Outcomes," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 19961, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
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  13. Shankar, Bhavani, 2009. "Fat Chance: Modelling the Socio-Economic Determinants of Dietary Fat Intake in China," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51538, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  14. Kuchler, Fred & Tegene, Abebayehu & Harris, James Michael, 2004. "Taxing Snack Foods: What to Expect for Diet and Tax Revenues," Agricultural Information Bulletins 33607, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  15. John Beghin & Jean-Christophe Bureau & Sophie Drogue, 2004. "Calibration of incomplete demand systems in quantitative analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(8), pages 839-847.
  16. Abdulai, Awudu & Aubert, Dominique, 2004. "Nonparametric and parametric analysis of calorie consumption in Tanzania," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 113-129, April.
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