IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Does the Value-Added Tax Shift to Consumption Prices?



This paper deals with the question of how consumption taxes, especially the value-added tax, affect consumption prices. The analyses are based on data from EU countries for the period 1970–2004. The starting point is a conventional supply-demand analysis of the tax incidence problem. This problem is solved using some simple price mark-up equations, Phillips curves and inflation forecast error equations. All these equations are estimated from panel data from EU countries using different estimators and variable specifications. In addition, an analysis is carried out with Finnish excise taxes using commodity/outlet level micro data for the early 2000s. A general result of all analyses is that more than one half of a tax increase shifts to consumer prices. By contrast, there is less evidence on shifts to producer prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Matti Viren, 2009. "Does the Value-Added Tax Shift to Consumption Prices?," Czech Economic Review, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, vol. 3(2), pages 123-142, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:fau:aucocz:au2009_123

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fullerton, Don & Metcalf, Gilbert E., 2002. "Tax incidence," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 26, pages 1787-1872 Elsevier.
    2. Chouinard, Hayley & Perloff, Jeffrey M., 2004. "Incidence of federal and state gasoline taxes," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 55-60, April.
    3. Sam Peltzman, 2000. "Prices Rise Faster than They Fall," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 466-502, June.
    4. Peter Tillmann, 2009. "The New Keynesian Phillips curve in Europe: does it fit or does it fail?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 463-473, December.
    5. Brita Bye & Birger Strøm & Turid Åvitsland, 2003. "Welfare effects of VAT reforms: A general equilibrium analysis," Discussion Papers 343, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    6. Besley, Timothy J. & Rosen, Harvey S., 1999. "Sales Taxes and Prices: An Empirical Analysis," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(2), pages 157-178, June.
    7. Coenen, Günter & McAdam, Peter & Straub, Roland, 2008. "Tax reform and labour-market performance in the euro area: A simulation-based analysis using the New Area-Wide Model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 2543-2583, August.
    8. Paloviita, Maritta & Virén, Matti, 2005. "The role of expectations in the inflation process in the euro area," Research Discussion Papers 6/2005, Bank of Finland.
    9. A. Craig MacKinlay, 1997. "Event Studies in Economics and Finance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 13-39, March.
    10. John R. Swinton & Christopher R. Thomas, 2001. "Using Empirical Point Elasticities to Teach Tax Incidence," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(4), pages 356-368, January.
    11. European Commission, 2008. "Taxation trends in the European Union: 2008 edition," Taxation trends 2008, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Caitlan Russell & Corne van Walbeek, 2016. "How does a change in the excise tax on beer impact beer retail prices in South Africa?," SALDRU Working Papers 162, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    2. Mala, Zdenka & Maly, Michal, 2012. "Impact of Government Reform on Beef Market," AGRIS on-line Papers in Economics and Informatics, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Economics and Management, vol. 4(4), December.
    3. Matti Viren, 2013. "Is the housing allowance shifted to rental prices?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 1497-1518, June.

    More about this item


    Value-added tax; tax incidence; consumption taxes;

    JEL classification:

    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fau:aucocz:au2009_123. 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: (Lenka Stastna). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.