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Tax Sensitivity and Home State Preferences in Internet Purchasing

Author

Listed:
  • Glenn Ellison
  • Sara Fisher Ellison

Abstract

Data on memory modules sales are used to explore aspects of e-retail demand. Aggregate sales are examined in state-level regressions. Discrete choice techniques are used to examine (incomplete) hourly sales data from a price comparison site. We find a strong relationship between e-retail sales to a given state and sales tax rates that apply to purchases from offline retailers, suggesting substantial online-offline substitution and the importance of tax avoidance motives. Geography matters in two ways: consumers prefer purchasing from firms in nearby states and appear to have a separate preference for buying from in-state firms. (JEL D12, H25, H71, L81)

Suggested Citation

  • Glenn Ellison & Sara Fisher Ellison, 2009. "Tax Sensitivity and Home State Preferences in Internet Purchasing," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 53-71, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:1:y:2009:i:2:p:53-71
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.1.2.53
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Peter Davis, 2006. "Spatial competition in retail markets: movie theaters," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(4), pages 964-982, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Steel, Will & Daglish, Toby & Marriott, Lisa & Gemmell, Norman & Howell, Bronwyn, 2013. "E-Commerce and its effect upon the Retail Industry and Government Revenue," Working Paper Series 4333, Victoria University of Wellington, The New Zealand Institute for the Study of Competition and Regulation.
    2. Ishuan Li & Robert Simonson & Guncha Babajanova & Matthew Tuomala, 2016. "Smartphone Diffusion and Consumer Price Comparison Shopping Behavior: Implications for the Marketplace Fairness Act," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 36(3), pages 1337-1353.
    3. Liran Einav & Dan Knoepfle & Jonathan Levin & Neel Sundaresan, 2014. "Sales Taxes and Internet Commerce," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(1), pages 1-26, January.
    4. Hu, Yu Jeffrey & Tang, Zhulei, 2014. "The impact of sales tax on internet and catalog sales: Evidence from a natural experiment," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 84-90.
    5. Sumit Agarwal & J. Bradford Jensen & Ferdinando Monte, 2017. "The Geography of Consumption," NBER Working Papers 23616, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Allen Tran, 2014. "The Aggregate Impact Of Online Retail," Working Papers 14-23, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    7. Emin M. Dinlersoz & Rubén Hernández-Murillo, 2004. "The diffusion of electronic business in the U.S," Working Papers 2004-009, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    8. repec:kap:itaxpf:v:24:y:2017:i:5:d:10.1007_s10797-016-9422-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Emin M. Dinlersoz & Rubén Hernández-Murillo, 2005. "The diffusion of electronic business in the United States," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 11-34.
    10. Brian Baugh & Itzhak Ben-David & Hoonsuk Park, 2014. "Can Taxes Shape an Industry? Evidence from the Implementation of the “Amazon Tax”," NBER Working Papers 20052, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Lesley Chiou, 2005. "Empirical Analysis of Retail Competition: Spatial Differentiation at Wal-Mart, Amazon.com, and Their Competitors," Occidental Economics Working Papers 3, Occidental College, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2006.
    12. Jean-François Houde & Peter Newberry & Katja Seim, 2017. "Economies of Density in E-Commerce: A Study of Amazon’s Fulfillment Center Network," NBER Working Papers 23361, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Huang, Yufeng, 2015. "Empirical analysis of consumer behavior," Other publications TiSEM 9cc96a79-43d7-436d-87d3-3, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    14. David R. Agrawal & William F. Fox, 2017. "Taxes in an e-commerce generation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 24(5), pages 903-926, September.
    15. Gao, Maija & Hyytinen, Ari & Toivanen, Otto, 2005. "Demand for Mobile Internet: Evidence from a Real-World Pricing Experiment," Discussion Papers 964, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    16. Benjamin Edelman, 2012. "Using Internet Data for Economic Research," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 189-206, Spring.
    17. Fox, William F. & Luna, LeAnn & Schaur, Georg, 2014. "Destination taxation and evasion: Evidence from U.S. inter-state commodity flows," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 43-57.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce

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