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Economic Policies for Healthier Food Intake: The Impact on Different Household Categories

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  • Nordström, Jonas

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Lund University)

  • Thunström, Linda

    ()
    (The Swedish Retail Institute)

Abstract

This paper simulates the impact across household types of fully funded tax reforms designed to increase consumers’ fiber intake from grain consumption. Our results suggest that household types with the highest initial consumption share of fiber-rich products – i.e., households without children (seniors, couples without children, and single women without children) – experience the highest increase in fiber intake from these reforms. However, they also experience high increases in unhealthy nutrients from the reforms, making the net health effects difficult to evaluate. Seniors and couples without children also gain the most financially, paying less food taxes and facing, depending on the reform, either a lower price level than before the reform or a lower increase in the price level than the average household. These household types also face the lowest initial price level. Households with the lowest initial consumption share of fiber-rich products – families with children – appear to gain the least financially from the reforms: they pay more food taxes and face relatively high increases in price levels. Further, in general they experience an increase in fiber intake smaller than the average household. However, they do generally see reductions in the intake of added sugar, and in many cases saturated fat, which positively affects the health of families with children, who often overconsume these nutrients.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Lund University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2009:14.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 16 Oct 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published as Nordström, Jonas and Linda Thunström, 'Economic Policies for Healthier Food Intake: The Impact on Different Household Categories' in European Journal of Health Economics, 2011, pages 127-140.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:lunewp:2009_014

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Postal: Department of Economics, School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Box 7082, S-220 07 Lund,Sweden
Phone: +46 +46 222 0000
Fax: +46 +46 2224613
Web page: http://www.nek.lu.se/en
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Keywords: consumer economics; food; health; taxation;

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References

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  1. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
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  9. Deaton, Angus S & Muellbauer, John, 1980. "An Almost Ideal Demand System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 312-26, June.
  10. Nordström, Jonas & Thunström, Linda, 2009. "The Impact on Different Household Types of Economic Policies Designed to Increase the Fiber Intake from Grain Consumption," HUI Working Papers 22, HUI Research.
  11. Chouinard Hayley H & Davis David E & LaFrance Jeffrey T & Perloff Jeffrey M, 2007. "Fat Taxes: Big Money for Small Change," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(2), pages 1-30, June.
  12. Fred Kuchler & Abebayehu Tegene & J. Michael Harris, 2005. "Taxing Snack Foods: Manipulating Diet Quality or Financing Information Programs?," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 27(1), pages 4-20.
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