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Alcohol taxes, tax revenues and the Single European Market

  • Ian Crawford

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Surrey)

  • Sarah Tanner

This paper addresses the issue of whether tax revenue from alcohol lost through cross-border shopping could be recouped by cutting excise duties. This in turn depends on the elasticity of demand for alcohol. We use data from the Family Expenditure Survey 1978-96 to estimate own- and cross-price elasticities of demand for beer, wine and spirits before and after completion of the Single Market. We find no evidence of a significant change in elasticities after the Single Market. The tax rates on beer and wine are currently below their revenue-maximising rates, implying that a cut in the duty rate on beer or wine would lead to a decrease in indirect tax revenue from alcohol. We cannot reject that the current tax rate on spirits is at the revenue-maximising rate, implying that further increases in the duty on spirits are likely to cause indirect tax revenue to fall.

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Article provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its journal Fiscal Studies.

Volume (Year): 20 (1999)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 287-304

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Handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:20:y:1999:i:3:p:287-304
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  1. James Banks & Richard Blundell & Arthur Lewbel, 1997. "Quadratic Engel Curves And Consumer Demand," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(4), pages 527-539, November.
  2. Ian Crawford & Sarah Tanner, 1995. "Bringing it all back home: alcohol taxation and cross-border shopping," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 16(2), pages 94-114, May.
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