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Cross-Border Shopping and the Sales Tax: An Examination of Food Purchases in West Virginia

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  • Tosun Mehmet S

    (University of Nevada, Reno)

  • Skidmore Mark L

    (Michigan State University)

Abstract

In this article we present new evidence of cross-border shopping in response to sales taxation. While several instructive studies provide estimates of the cross-border shopping effect, we utilize a unique opportunity to evaluate the effect of a large discrete change in sales tax policy. Using county level data on food sales and sales tax rates for West Virginia over the 1988-1991 period we estimate that for every one-percentage point increase in the county relative price ratio due to the sales tax change, per capita food sales decreased by about 1.38 percent. Our estimates indicate that food sales fell in West Virginia border counties by about eight percent as a result of the imposition of the six percent sales tax on food at the beginning of 1990.

Suggested Citation

  • Tosun Mehmet S & Skidmore Mark L, 2007. "Cross-Border Shopping and the Sales Tax: An Examination of Food Purchases in West Virginia," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-20, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:7:y:2007:i:1:n:63
    DOI: 10.2202/1935-1682.1877
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    3. Andrés Leal & Julio López-Laborda & Fernando Rodrigo, 2010. "Cross-Border Shopping: A Survey," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 16(2), pages 135-148, May.
    4. David Agrawal, 2012. "Games within borders: are geographically differentiated taxes optimal?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 19(4), pages 574-597, August.
    5. Cawley, John & Frisvold, David & Hill, Anna & Jones, David, 2019. "The impact of the Philadelphia beverage tax on purchases and consumption by adults and children," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(C).
    6. Rossitza B. Wooster & Joshua W. Lehner, 2010. "Reexamining The Border Tax Effect: A Case Study Of Washington State," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 28(4), pages 511-523, October.
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    9. Friberg, Richard & Steen, Frode & Ulsaker, Simen A., 2018. "Hump-shaped cross-price effects and the extensive margin in cross-border shopping," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 20/2019, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics, revised 23 Sep 2019.
    10. James Alm & Mikhail I. Melnik, 2012. "Does Online Cross-border Shopping Affect State Use Tax Liabilities?," Working Papers 1206, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
    11. Brian E. Whitacre, 2011. "Do higher broadband adoption rates mean lower tax collections from local retail sales? Implications of e-commerce in rural areas of the US," Regional Science Policy & Practice, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 71-85, June.
    12. Kathryn L. Combs & Jaebeom Kim & Jim Landers & John A. Spry, 2016. "The Responsiveness of Casino Revenue to the Casino Tax Rate," Public Budgeting & Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(3), pages 22-44, September.
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    14. Pouya Ebrahimi & François Vaillancourt, 2015. "La taxation de la consommation et les ventes au détail : Recension des écrits et analyse empirique," CIRANO Project Reports 2015rp-09, CIRANO.
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    18. Davis, Lucas W., 2011. "The Effects of Preferential Vat Rates Near International Borders: Evidence From Mexico," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 64(1), pages 85-104, March.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • P25 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure

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