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The Effect of Sales Tax Rates on Food Exemptions

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Abstract

In this paper I explore the relationship between the sales tax rate and the tax treatment of food in American states. One of the main difficulties in the empirical estimation of this relationship is that state governments set the two tax policy variables. This produces a potential endogeneity problem that would bias the estimates if not considered. I use instrumental variables to solve the problem and to identify the effect of the sales tax rate on the probability of having a food exemption. The empirical results show that, on average, a one percentual point increase in the sales tax rate increases by 20% the probability of having a food exemption.

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Paper provided by Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines in its series ILADES-Georgetown University Working Papers with number inv155.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ila:ilades:inv155

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Keywords: Food Exemption; Sales Tax; Instrumental Variables;

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  1. Pollock, Stephen H., 1991. "Mechanisms for Exporting the State Sales Tax Burden in the Absence of Federal Deductibility," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 44(3), pages 297-310, September.
  2. Allers, Maarten & de Haan, Jakob & Sterks, Cees, 2001. " Partisan Influence on the Local Tax Burden in the Netherlands," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 106(3-4), pages 351-63, March.
  3. Aled Ab Iorwerth & John Whalley, 1998. "Meals on Wheels: Restaurant and Home Meal Production and the Exemption of Food from Sales and Value Added Taxes," NBER Working Papers 6653, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Hettich, Walter & Winer, Stanley L, 1988. "Economic and Political Foundations of Tax Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 701-12, September.
  5. George Warskett & Stanley Winer & Walter Hettich, 1998. "The Complexity of Tax Structure in Competitive Political Systems," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 123-151, May.
  6. Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1972. "The structure of indirect taxation and economic efficiency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 97-119, April.
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