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The impact of tax reforms designed to encourage healthier grain consumption

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  • Nordström, Jonas
  • Thunström, Linda

Abstract

In this paper, we simulate the effects of tax reforms aimed at encouraging healthier grain consumption. We use a rich data set on household grain consumption in 2003 from the market research institute GfK Sweden, combined with information on the nutritional content of the consumption. We estimate behavioral parameters, which are used to simulate the impact on the average household of tax reforms entailing either a subsidy on commodities particularly rich in fiber or a subsidy of the fiber density in grain products. Our results suggest that to direct the fiber intake towards nutritional recommendations, reforms with a substantial impact on consumer prices are required. Regardless of the type of subsidy implemented, the increase in the intake of fiber is accompanied by unwanted increases in nutrients that are often overconsumed: fat, salt and sugar. Funding the subsidies by taxing these nutrients, or less healthy commodities, helps to counteract such developments.

Suggested Citation

  • Nordström, Jonas & Thunström, Linda, 2009. "The impact of tax reforms designed to encourage healthier grain consumption," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 622-634, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:28:y:2009:i:3:p:622-634
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    Cited by:

    1. Gustavsen, Geir Wæhler & Rickertsen, Kyrre, 2013. "Adjusting VAT rates to promote healthier diets in Norway: A censored quantile regression approach," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 88-95.
    2. Capacci, Sara & Mazzocchi, Mario, 2011. "Five-a-day, a price to pay: An evaluation of the UK program impact accounting for market forces," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 87-98, January.
    3. Säll, Sarah & Gren, Ing-Marie, 2012. "Green consumption taxes on meat in Sweden," Department of Economics publications 9294, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Economics.
    4. Jonas Nordström & Linda Thunström, 2011. "Economic policies for healthier food intake: the impact on different household categories," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 12(2), pages 127-140, April.
    5. Irz, Xavier & Leroy, Pascal & Réquillart, Vincent & Soler, Louis-Georges, 2015. "Economic assessment of nutritional recommendations," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 188-210.
    6. S. Duvaleix-Tréguer & A. Hammoudi & L. Rouached & L.G. Soler, 2012. "Firms' responses to nutritional policies," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 39(5), pages 843-877, December.
    7. Härkänen, Tommi & Kotakorpi, Kaisa & Pietinen, Pirjo & Pirttilä, Jukka & Reinivuo, Heli & Suoniemi, Ilpo, 2014. "The welfare effects of health-based food tax policy," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(P1), pages 196-206.
    8. Nordström, Jonas & Thunström, Linda, 2011. "Can targeted food taxes and subsidies improve the diet? Distributional effects among income groups," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 259-271, April.
    9. Darmon, N. & Lacroix, A. & Muller, L. & Ruffieux, B., 2011. "Experimental economics shows how food price policies may improve diet while increasing socioeconomic inequalities in nutrition," Working Papers 201104, Grenoble Applied Economics Laboratory (GAEL).
    10. repec:kap:theord:v:83:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11238-017-9625-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Jensen, Jørgen Dejgård & Smed, Sinne, 2013. "The Danish tax on saturated fat – Short run effects on consumption, substitution patterns and consumer prices of fats," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 18-31.
    12. Nordström, Jonas & Thunström, Linda, 2009. "The Impact on Different Household Types of Economic Policies Designed to Increase the Fiber Intake from Grain Consumption," HUI Working Papers 22, HUI Research.
    13. Ryota Nakamura & Marc Suhrcke & Daniel John Zizzo, 2017. "A triple test for behavioral economics models and public health policy," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 83(4), pages 513-533, December.
    14. Ehmke, Mariah D. & Willson, Tina M. & Schroeter, Christiane & Hart, Ann Marie & Coupal, Roger H., 2009. "Obesity Economics for the Western United States," Western Economics Forum, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 8(02).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Consumer economics Food Health Taxation;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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