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$2.00 Gas! Studying the Effects of a Gas Tax Moratorium

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  • Joseph J. Doyle, Jr.
  • Krislert Samphantharak
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    Abstract

    There are surprisingly few estimates of the effect of sales taxes on retail prices, especially at the firm level. Further, along both sides of a state border, a change in one state%u2019s sales tax can shed light on the nature of competition, as a subset of firms effectively experiences a change in its marginal cost. This paper considers the suspension, and subsequent reinstatement, of the 5% gasoline sales tax in Illinois and Indiana following a temporary price spike in the spring of 2000. Earlier laws set the timing of the reinstatements, providing plausibly exogenous changes in the tax rates. Using a unique dataset of daily, gas station-level data, retail gas prices are found to drop by 3% following the suspension, and increase by 4% following the reinstatements. After linking the stations to driving distance data, some evidence suggests that the tax increases are associated with higher prices up to an hour%u2019s drive into neighboring states.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w12266.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12266.

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    Date of creation: May 2006
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    Publication status: published as Doyle Jr., Joseph J. & Samphantharak, Krislert, 2008. "$2.00 Gas! Studying the effects of a gas tax moratorium," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 869-884, April.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12266

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      • Fullerton, Don & Metcalf, Gilbert E., 2002. "Tax incidence," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 26, pages 1787-1872 Elsevier.
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    14. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M. R. A. Engel & John C. Haltiwanger, 1995. "Plant-Level Adjustment and Aggregate Investment Dynamics," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(2), pages 1-54.
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. IĆ¢??m not an Economist who supports a gas tax reduction, but one theory how it could help.
      by Seth Gitter in the blog of diminishing returns on 2008-05-07 01:07:00
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    Cited by:
    1. Gilbert E. Metcalf, 2006. "Federal Tax Policy Towards Energy," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0612, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
    2. Gilbert E. Meltcalf, 2007. "Federal Tax Policy towards Energy," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 21, pages 145-184 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Doyle Jr., Joseph J. & Samphantharak, Krislert, 2008. "$2.00 Gas! Studying the effects of a gas tax moratorium," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 869-884, April.

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