Estimating price elasticities when there is smuggling: the sensitivity of smoking to price in Canada
A central parameter for evaluating tax policies is the price elasticity of demand for cigarettes. But in many countries this parameter is difficult to estimate reliably due to widespread smuggling, which significantly biases estimates using legal sales data. An excellent example is Canada, where widespread smuggling in the early 1990s, in response to large tax increases, biases upwards the response of legal cigarette sales to price. We surmount this problem through two approaches: excluding the provinces and years where smuggling was greatest; and using household level expenditure data on smoking, where there is a downward bias to estimated elasticities from smuggling. These two approaches yield a tightly estimated elasticity in the range of -0.45 to -0.47. We also show that the sensitivity of smoking to price is much larger among lower income Canadians. In the context of recent behavioral models of smoking, whereby higher taxes reduce unwanted smoking among price sensitive populations, this finding suggests that cigarette taxes may not be as regressive as previously suggested. Finally, we show that price increases on cigarettes do not increase, and may actually decrease, consumption of alcohol; as a result, smuggling of cigarettes may have raised consumption of alcohol as well.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Frank S. Reinhardt & David E.A. Giles, 1999.
"Are Cigarette Bans Really Good Economic Policy?,"
Econometrics Working Papers
9903, Department of Economics, University of Victoria.
- Gary S. Becker & Michael Grossman & Kevin M. Murphy, 1990.
"An Empirical Analysis of Cigarette Addiction,"
NBER Working Papers
3322, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gary S. Becker & Michael Grossman & Kevin M. Murphy, 1990. "An Empirical Analysis of Cigarette Addiction," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 61, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
- David Laibson, 1997.
"Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-478.
- Chaloupka, Frank J. & Warner, Kenneth E., 2000.
"The economics of smoking,"
Handbook of Health Economics,
in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 29, pages 1539-1627
- 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.
- Ayda A. Yurekli & Ping Zhang, 2000. "The impact of clean indoor-air laws and cigarette smuggling on demand for cigarettes: an empirical model," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(2), pages 159-170.
- Dee, Thomas S., 1999. "The complementarity of teen smoking and drinking," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 769-793, December.
- Jonathan Gruber & Botond Koszegi, 2002. "A Theory of Government Regulation of Addictive Bads: Optimal Tax Levels and Tax Incidence for Cigarette Excise Taxation," NBER Working Papers 8777, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Marie C. Thursby & Jerry G. Thursby, 1994. "Interstate Cigarette Bootlegging: Extent, Revenue Losses, and Effects of Government Intervention," NBER Working Papers 4763, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Thursby, Jerry G. & Thursby, Marie C., 2000. "Interstate Cigarette Bootlegging: Extent, Revenue Losses, and Effects of Federal Intervention," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 53(n. 1), pages 59-78, March.
- Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 1996.
"Doing It Now or Later,"
1172, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Ted O'Donoghue and Matthew Rabin ., 1997. "Doing It Now or Later," Economics Working Papers 97-253, University of California at Berkeley.
- O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 1997. "Doing It Now or Later," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt7t44m5b0, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Poterba, James M, 1989.
"Lifetime Incidence and the Distributional Burden of Excise Taxes,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 325-30, May.
- James M. Poterba, 1989. "Lifetime Incidence and the Distributional Burden of Excise Taxes," NBER Working Papers 2833, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Poterba, J.M., 1989. "Lifetime Incidence And The Distributional Burden Of Excise Taxes," Working papers 510, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Gruber Jonathan H & Mullainathan Sendhil, 2005.
"Do Cigarette Taxes Make Smokers Happier,"
The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy,
De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-45, July.
- Matthew C. Farrelly & Terry F. Pechacek & Frank J. Chaloupka, 2001. "The Impact of Tobacco Control Program Expenditures on Aggregate Cigarette Sales: 1981-1998," NBER Working Papers 8691, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1986.
"A Theory of Rational Addiction,"
University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State
41, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
- Jonathan Gruber & Botond Köszegi, 2001. "Is Addiction "Rational"? Theory and Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1261-1303.
- Jonathan Gruber & Botond Koszegi, 2000. "Is Addiction "Rational"? Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7507, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lanoie, Paul & Leclair, Paul, 1998. "Taxation or regulation:: Looking for a good anti-smoking policy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 85-89, January.
- Galbraith, John W. & Kaiserman, Murray, 1997. "Taxation, smuggling and demand for cigarettes in Canada: Evidence from time-series data," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 287-301, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:22:y:2003:i:5:p:821-842. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.