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

  • Tosun Mehmet S

    ()

    (University of Nevada, Reno)

  • Skidmore Mark L

    ()

    (Michigan State University)

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.

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy.

Volume (Year): 7 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (December)
Pages: 1-20

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:7:y:2007:i:1:n:63
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