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Tax Sensitivity in Electronic Commerce


  • Mark A. Scanlan


Empirical research into the impact of taxation on e-commerce has concluded that there is a significant positive relationship between local sales tax rates and the likelihood that a person will shop online. This paper finds that the tax sensitivity for online purchases at the local level is much lower than previously estimated and is not significant under previous general models. However, by using a splined tax-rate function, this paper finds that consumers living in counties with high sales tax rates are still sensitive to tax rates when deciding whether to shop online, while those in counties with low tax rates exhibit no significant sensitivity. Copyright 2007 Institute for Fiscal Studies.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark A. Scanlan, 2007. "Tax Sensitivity in Electronic Commerce," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 28(4), pages 417-436, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:28:y:2007:i:4:p:417-436

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    Cited by:

    1. Steel, Will & Daglish, Toby & Marriott, Lisa & Gemmell, Norman & Howell, Bronwyn, 2013. "E-Commerce and its effect upon the Retail Industry and Government Revenue," Working Paper Series 4333, Victoria University of Wellington, The New Zealand Institute for the Study of Competition and Regulation.
    2. Ishuan Li & Robert Simonson & Guncha Babajanova & Matthew Tuomala, 2016. "Smartphone Diffusion and Consumer Price Comparison Shopping Behavior: Implications for the Marketplace Fairness Act," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 36(3), pages 1337-1353.
    3. Liran Einav & Dan Knoepfle & Jonathan Levin & Neel Sundaresan, 2014. "Sales Taxes and Internet Commerce," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(1), pages 1-26, January.
    4. Jean-François Houde & Peter Newberry & Katja Seim, 2017. "Economies of Density in E-Commerce: A Study of Amazon’s Fulfillment Center Network," NBER Working Papers 23361, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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