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Policy Watch: Alcohol and Cigarette Taxes

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  • Michael Grossman

Abstract

Increased excise taxes on cigarettes and alcohol have been suggested as a means to finance (at least partially) the Clinton administration's proposed program of health care reform. We consider the revenue potential of cigarette and alcohol tax hikes and explore the effects on consumption and related outcomes. We present estimates of the social costs and implied optimal tax rates on cigarettes and alcohol. The bulk of the evidence presented here does support higher taxes on cigarettes and alcohol.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Grossman, 1993. "Policy Watch: Alcohol and Cigarette Taxes," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 211-222, Fall.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:7:y:1993:i:4:p:211-22
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.7.4.211
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.7.4.211
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. W. J. Corlett & D. C. Hague, 1953. "Complementarity and the Excess Burden of Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(1), pages 21-30.
    2. Coate, Douglas & Grossman, Michael, 1988. "Effects of Alcoholic Beverage Prices and Legal Drinking Ages on Youth Alcohol Use," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 145-171, April.
    3. 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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    5. Michael Grossman & Frank J. Chaloupka & Henry Saffer & Adit Laixuthai, 1993. "Effects of Alcohol Price Policy on Youth," NBER Working Papers 4385, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Lewit, Eugene M & Coate, Douglas & Grossman, Michael, 1981. "The Effects of Government Regulation on Teenage Smoking," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 545-569, December.
    7. Wasserman, Jeffrey & Manning, Willard G. & Newhouse, Joseph P. & Winkler, John D., 1991. "The effects of excise taxes and regulations on cigarette smoking," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 43-64, May.
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    9. Chaloupka, Frank J & Saffer, Henry & Grossman, Michael, 1993. "Alcohol-Control Policies and Motor-Vehicle Fatalities," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(1), pages 161-186, January.
    10. Mullahy, John & Sindelar, Jody L, 1993. "Alcoholism, Work, and Income," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(3), pages 494-520, July.
    11. Henry Saffer & Michael Grossman, 1986. "Beer Taxes, the Legal Drinking Age, and Youth Motor Vehicle Fatalities," NBER Working Papers 1914, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Koleman S. Strumpf & Felix Oberholzer-Gee, 2002. "Endogenous Policy Decentralization: Testing the Central Tenet of Economic Federalism," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 1-36, February.
    2. Timothy Hinks & Andreas Katsaros, 2012. "Smoking Ban and Life Satisfaction: Evidence from the UK," Economic Issues Journal Articles, Economic Issues, vol. 17(1), pages 27-48, March.
    3. Dee, Thomas S., 1999. "The complementarity of teen smoking and drinking," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 769-793, December.
    4. Ruhm, Christopher J., 1996. "Alcohol policies and highway vehicle fatalities," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 435-454, August.
    5. Michael J. Moore & James W. Hughes, 2001. "The Health Care Consequences of Smoking and Its Regulation," NBER Chapters,in: Frontiers in Health Policy Research, Volume 4, pages 31-76 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Thomas S. Dee & William N. Evans, 2003. "Teen Drinking and Educational Attainment: Evidence from Two-Sample Instrumental Variables Estimates," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 178-209, January.
    7. Michael Grossman, 1999. "The Human Capital Model of the Demand for Health," NBER Working Papers 7078, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Richard M. Bird & Sally Wallace, 2003. "Taxing Alcohol in Africa: Reflections from International Experience," International Tax Program Papers 0304, International Tax Program, Institute for International Business, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, revised Nov 2003.
    9. Gregory J. Colman & Dahlia K. Remler, 2008. "Vertical equity consequences of very high cigarette tax increases: If the poor are the ones smoking, how could cigarette tax increases be progressive?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(2), pages 376-400.
    10. Omura, Makiko, 2014. "The Effects of Tax Policy on Alcoholic Beverage Trends and Alcohol Demand in Japan," 88th Annual Conference, April 9-11, 2014, AgroParisTech, Paris, France 170487, Agricultural Economics Society.
    11. Marcus, Jan & Siedler, Thomas, 2015. "Reducing binge drinking? The effect of a ban on late-night off-premise alcohol sales on alcohol-related hospital stays in Germany," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 55-77.
    12. Paloyo, Alfredo R. & Reichert, Arndt R. & Reuss-Borst, Monika & Tauchmann, Harald, 2015. "Who responds to financial incentives for weight loss? Evidence from a randomized controlled trial," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 44-52.
    13. Joseph J. Sabia, 2010. "Wastin' Away In Margaritaville? New Evidence On The Academic Effects Of Teenage Binge Drinking," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 28(1), pages 1-22, January.
    14. Kenkel, Donald S. & Manning, Willard, 1999. "Economic evaluation of nutrition policy: Or, there's no such thing as a free lunch," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(2-3), pages 145-162, May.
    15. Seldon, Barry J. & Jewell, R. Todd & O'Brien, Daniel M., 2000. "Media substitution and economies of scale in advertising," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(8), pages 1153-1180, December.
    16. Dee, Thomas S., 1999. "State alcohol policies, teen drinking and traffic fatalities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 289-315, May.
    17. Mullahy, John & Sindelar, Jody, 1996. "Employment, unemployment, and problem drinking," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 409-434, August.
    18. Grossman, Michael, 2006. "Education and Nonmarket Outcomes," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    19. William N. Evans & Jeanne S. Ringel & Diana Stech, 1999. "Tobacco Taxes and Public Policy to Discourage Smoking," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 13, pages 1-56 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. John Ataguba, 2012. "Alcohol policy and taxation in South Africa," Applied Health Economics and Health Policy, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 65-76, January.
    21. Charles L. Baum & Shin-Yi Chou, 2016. "Why has the prevalence of obesity doubled?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 251-267, June.
    22. Yana Roshchina, 2013. "To drink or not to drink: the microeconomic analysis of alcohol consumption in Russia in 2006-2010," HSE Working papers WP BRP 20/SOC/2013, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    23. Jason M. Fletcher & David Frisvold & Nathan Tefft, 2010. "Can Soft Drink Taxes Reduce Population Weight?," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 28(1), pages 23-35, January.
    24. Lacruz, Ana Isabel Gil & Lacruz, Marta Gil, 2010. "Does alcohol consumption reinforce mental problems in adolescence?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 223-232, April.
    25. Wise, William B. & Reaves, Dixie Watts, 1995. "Potential Changes Facing Virginia Tobacco Producers," Policy Papers 14816, Virginia Tech, Rural Economic Analysis Program (REAP).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • L66 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Food; Beverages; Cosmetics; Tobacco

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