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$2.00 Gas! Studying the effects of a gas tax moratorium

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  • Doyle Jr., Joseph J.
  • Samphantharak, Krislert

Abstract

There are surprisingly few estimates of the effects of sales taxes on retail prices, especially at the firm level. We consider the temporary suspension, and subsequent reinstatement, of the gasoline sales tax in Illinois and Indiana following a price spike in 2000. Earlier laws set the timing of the reinstatements, providing plausibly exogenous changes in the tax rates. Using a unique dataset of daily prices at the gas-station level, 70% of the tax suspension is passed on to consumers in the form of lower prices, while 80-100% of the tax reinstatements are passed on to consumers. Some evidence suggests that these short-run pass-through estimates are smaller near the state borders, with the tax reinstatements associated with relatively higher prices up to an hour's drive into neighboring states.

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  • Doyle Jr., Joseph J. & Samphantharak, Krislert, 2008. "$2.00 Gas! Studying the effects of a gas tax moratorium," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 869-884, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:92:y:2008:i:3-4:p:869-884
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