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Revisiting an important Canadian natural experiment with new methods: an evaluation of the impact of the 1994 tax decrease on smoking

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    Abstract

    The panel structure of the Survey on Smoking in Canada (1994-95) and novel methods are used to estimate the impact of an important decrease in the levels of taxation of cigarettes occurring in five out of the ten Canadian provinces that intended to eradicate black market sales of cigarettes in the spring of 1994. Given that black market sales have recently increased substantially because of new taxes, a complete and thorough analysis of the 1994 policy is of particular importance for policy makers. We revisit the issue with new econometric methods to address this evaluation problem as well as focus on particular sub-groups in the Canadian population. The large sample permits precise estimation of the impact of the policy by sub-group showing that females, young males, the poorly educated and separated or divorced individuals were particularly sensitive to these dramatic changes in cigarette prices. We also compute under realistic assumptions a price-elasticity for the probability of smoking and a lower bound on the price-elasticity for the quantities of cigarettes smoked.

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    File URL: ftp://mse.univ-paris1.fr/pub/mse/CES2014/14027.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne in its series Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne with number 14027.

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    Length: 25 pages
    Date of creation: Mar 2014
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    Handle: RePEc:mse:cesdoc:14027

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    Keywords: Cigarette; price-elasticity; difference in difference.;

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    1. 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.
    2. Frank J. Chaloupka, 1991. "Rational Addictive Behavior and Cigarette Smoking," NBER Working Papers 3268, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias, 2009. "Alternative Approaches to Evaluation in Empirical Microeconomics," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(3).
    4. Becker, Gary S & Grossman, Michael & Murphy, Kevin M, 1994. "An Empirical Analysis of Cigarette Addiction," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 396-418, June.
    5. Susan Athey & Guido W. Imbens, 2006. "Identification and Inference in Nonlinear Difference-in-Differences Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(2), pages 431-497, 03.
    6. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1986. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 41, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
    7. Craig A. Gallet & John A. List, 2003. "Cigarette demand: a meta-analysis of elasticities," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(10), pages 821-835.
    8. Philip J. Cook & George Tauchen, 1982. "The Effect of Liquor Taxes on Heavy Drinking," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 379-390, Autumn.
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