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Do sales tax credits stimulate the automobile market?

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  • Chen, Jiawei
  • Esteban, Susanna
  • Shum, Matthew

Abstract

In this paper, we quantitatively investigate the effectiveness of a sales tax reduction in stimulating sales and profits of durable goods manufacturers. Our question is motivated by policy makers' recent interest in helping ailing automobile manufacturers and in replacing a fleet of highly polluting vehicles. President Obama's economic stimulus plan, for instance, has directly targeted the primary market by including a sales tax credit on purchases of new cars and trucks. In this paper, we show that the benefit of reducing the sales tax, measured by its effect on firms' profits and sales, greatly decreases with the product's durability. The magnitude of our findings indicates that one must carefully account for durability and firms' behavior when evaluating such policies. Our findings are robust when we vary key parameters of the market.

Suggested Citation

  • Chen, Jiawei & Esteban, Susanna & Shum, Matthew, 2010. "Do sales tax credits stimulate the automobile market?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 397-402, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:28:y:2010:i:4:p:397-402
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Koon Hung Chan & Mingming Leng & Liping Liang, 2014. "Impact of tax reduction policies on consumer purchase of new automobiles: An analytical investigation with real data‐based experiments," Naval Research Logistics (NRL), John Wiley & Sons, vol. 61(8), pages 577-598, December.
    2. Naoki Wakamori, 2011. "Portfolio Considerations in Differentiated Product Purchases: An Application to the Japanese Automobile Market," Staff Working Papers 11-27, Bank of Canada.
    3. Huang, Jian & Leng, Mingming & Liang, Liping & Luo, Chunlin, 2014. "Qualifying for a government’s scrappage program to stimulate consumers’ trade-in transactions? Analysis of an automobile supply chain involving a manufacturer and a retailer," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 239(2), pages 363-376.
    4. Amagoia Sagasta & José M. Usategui, 2015. "Purchase and rental subsidies in durable-oligopolies," Hacienda Pública Española / Review of Public Economics, IEF, vol. 213(2), pages 11-40, June.
    5. Homolka, Lubor & Ngo, Vu Minh & Pavelková, Drahomíra & Le, Bach Tuan & Dehning, Bruce, 2020. "Short- and medium-term car registration forecasting based on selected macro and socio-economic indicators in European countries," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C).

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