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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
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:pubeco:v:150:y:2017:i:c:p:53-74 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Cawley, John, 2015. "An economy of scales: A selective review of obesity's economic causes, consequences, and solutions," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 244-268.
    6. Arteaga, Julio Cesar & Flores, Daniel & Luna, Edgar, 2017. "The effect of a soft-drink tax in Mexico: a time series approach," MPRA Paper 80831, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. James Alm & Mikhail I. Melnik, 2012. "Does Online Cross-border Shopping Affect State Use Tax Liabilities?," Working Papers 1206, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
    8. 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.
    9. repec:kap:itaxpf:v:24:y:2017:i:5:d:10.1007_s10797-016-9422-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. Leal, Andrés & López-Laborda, Julio & Rodrigo, Fernando, 2009. "Prices, taxes and automotive fuel cross-border shopping," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 225-234.
    13. Kalamov, Zarko Y., 2016. "A Sales Tax Is Better at Promoting Healthy Diets than the Fat Tax and the Thin Subsidy," EconStor Preprints 148007, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    14. 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.
    15. Agrawal, David R., 2014. "LOST in America: Evidence on local sales taxes from national panel data," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 147-163.
    16. Wilson, Norbert L. W. & Zheng, Yuqing & Burney, Shaheer & Kaiser, Harry M., 2016. "Do Grocery Food Sales Taxes Cause Food Insecurity?," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Boston, Massachusetts 235324, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    17. repec:kap:iaecre:v:16:y:2010:i:2:p:135-148 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Saxon, Nicholas & Tosun, Mehmet S. & Yang, Jingjing, 2015. "State and Local Sales Taxes and Business Activity in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 9413, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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