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Crossing the Line: The Effect of Cross Border Cigarette Sales on State Excise Tax Revenues

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  • Chiou, Lesley

    (Occidental College)

  • Muehlegger, Erich

    (Harvard U)

Abstract

Differences in excise tax rates across jurisdictions create incentives for consumers to cross the border and purchase in lower-tax jurisdictions. This paper introduces a discrete choice model to examine tax avoidance and state border-crossing in the market for cigarettes. We exploit a rich dataset of consumer location choices and demographics to estimate a consumer’s tradeoff between distance and price when choosing a location to maximize utility. Using the estimates from our location and demand models, we reconsider a recent public policy issue among states and simulate tax avoidance under alternative cigarette excise tax levels.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government in its series Working Paper Series with number rwp08-012.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp08-012

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References

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  1. Stehr, Mark, 2007. "The Effect of Sunday Sales Bans and Excise Taxes on Drinking and Cross–Border Shopping for Alcoholic Beverages," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 60(1), pages 85-105, March.
  2. Stehr, Mark, 2005. "Cigarette tax avoidance and evasion," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 277-297, March.
  3. Austan Goolsbee & Joel Slemrod, 2007. "Playing with Fire: Cigarettes, Taxes and Competition from the Internet," Discussion Papers 07-002, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  4. Thursby, Jerry G. & Thursby, Marie C., 2000. "Interstate Cigarette Bootlegging: Extent, Revenue Losses, and Effects of Federal Intervention," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 53(n. 1), pages 59-78, March.
  5. Michael F. Lovenheim, 2007. "How Far to the Border?: The Extent and Impact of Cross-Border Casual Cigarette Smuggling," Discussion Papers 06-040, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, revised Oct 2009.
  6. Marie C. Thursby & Jerry G. Thursby, 1994. "Interstate Cigarette Bootlegging: Extent, Revenue Losses, and Effects of Government Intervention," NBER Working Papers 4763, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Gruber, Jonathan & Sen, Anindya & Stabile, Mark, 2003. "Estimating price elasticities when there is smuggling: the sensitivity of smoking to price in Canada," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 821-842, September.
  8. Ayda A. Yurekli & Ping Zhang, 2000. "The impact of clean indoor-air laws and cigarette smuggling on demand for cigarettes: an empirical model," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(2), pages 159-170.
  9. Coats, R. Morris, 1995. "A Note on Estimating Cross-Border Effects of State Cigarette Taxes," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 48(4), pages 573-84, December.
  10. Glenn Ellison & Sara Fisher Ellison, 2006. "Internet Retail Demand: Taxes, Geography, and Online-Offline Competition," NBER Working Papers 12242, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Baltagi, Badi H & Griffin, James M, 1995. "A Dynamic Demand Model for Liquor: The Case for Pooling," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(3), pages 545-54, August.
  12. Hai-Yen Sung & Teh-Wei Hu & Theodore E. Keeler, 1994. "Cigarette Taxation And Demand: An Empirical Model," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 12(3), pages 91-100, 07.
  13. Chaloupka, Frank J. & Warner, Kenneth E., 2000. "The economics of smoking," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 29, pages 1539-1627 Elsevier.
  14. Keeler, Theodore E. & Hu, Teh-wei & Barnett, Paul G. & Manning, Willard G. & Sung, Hai-Yen, 1996. "Do cigarette producers price-discriminate by state? An empirical analysis of local cigarette pricing and taxation," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 499-512, August.
  15. Ian Crawford & Sarah Tanner, 1995. "Bringing it all back home: alcohol taxation and cross-border shopping," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 16(2), pages 94-114, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Andrés Leal & Julio López-Laborda & Fernando Rodrigo, 2010. "Cross-Border Shopping: A Survey," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 135-148, May.

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