IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/spr/hecrev/v11y2021i1d10.1186_s13561-021-00306-2.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Grocery food taxes and U.S. county obesity and diabetes rates

Author

Listed:
  • Lingxiao Wang

    (University of Kentucky)

  • Yuqing Zheng

    (University of Kentucky)

  • Steven Buck

    (University of Kentucky)

  • Diansheng Dong

    (Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, U.S)

  • Harry M. Kaiser

    (Cornell University)

Abstract

Background Grocery food taxes represent a stable tax revenue stream for state and municipal government during times of adverse economic shocks such as that observed under the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Previous research, however, suggests a possible mechanism through which grocery taxes may adversely affect health. Our objectives are to document the spatial and temporal variation in grocery taxes and to empirically examine the statistical relationship between county-level grocery taxes and obesity and diabetes. Methods We collect and assemble a novel national dataset of annual county and state-level grocery taxes from 2009 through 2016. We link this data to three-year, county-level estimates based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on rates of obesity and diabetes and provide a nation-wide spatial characterization of grocery taxes and these two health outcomes. Using a county-level fixed effects estimator, we estimate the effect of grocery taxes on obesity and diabetes rates, also controlling for a subset of potential confounders that vary over time. Results We find a 1 percentage point increase in grocery taxes is associated with 0.588 and 0.215 percentage point increases in the county-level obesity and diabetes rates. Conclusion Counties with grocery taxes have increased prevalence of obesity and diabetes. We estimate the economic burden of increased obesity and diabetes rates resulting from grocery taxes to be $5.9 billion. Based on this estimate, the benefit-cost ratio of removing grocery taxes across the United States only considering the effects on obesity and diabetes rates is 1.90.

Suggested Citation

  • Lingxiao Wang & Yuqing Zheng & Steven Buck & Diansheng Dong & Harry M. Kaiser, 2021. "Grocery food taxes and U.S. county obesity and diabetes rates," Health Economics Review, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 1-9, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:hecrev:v:11:y:2021:i:1:d:10.1186_s13561-021-00306-2
    DOI: 10.1186/s13561-021-00306-2
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1186/s13561-021-00306-2
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1186/s13561-021-00306-2?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Zheng, Yuqing & Dong, Diansheng & Burney, Shaheer & Kaiser, Harry M., 2019. "Eat at Home or Away from Home? The Role of Grocery and Restaurant Food Sales Taxes," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 44(1), January.
    2. Diansheng Dong & Yuqing Zheng & Hayden Stewart, 2020. "The effects of food sales taxes on household food spending: An application of a censored cluster model," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 51(5), pages 669-684, September.
    3. Chou, Shin-Yi & Grossman, Michael & Saffer, Henry, 2004. "An economic analysis of adult obesity: results from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 565-587, May.
    4. Rafael Moreira Claro & Vargas Hernandez & Joel Alberto & Satoru Shimokawa & Euna Han & Sharada Keats & Steve Wiggins, 2015. "The Rising Cost of a Healthy Diet – Changing Relative prices of Foods in High- Income and Emerging Economies," Working Papers id:7250, eSocialSciences.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Chris Sampson’s journal round-up for 8th March 2021
      by Chris Sampson in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2021-03-08 12:00:01

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Diansheng Dong & Yuqing Zheng & Hayden Stewart, 2020. "The effects of food sales taxes on household food spending: An application of a censored cluster model," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 51(5), pages 669-684, September.
    2. Anura Amarasinghe & Gerard D'Souza & Cheryl Brown & Tatiana Borisova, 2006. "A Spatial Analysis of Obesity in West Virginia," Working Papers Working Paper 2006-13, Regional Research Institute, West Virginia University.
    3. Costa-Font, Joan & de Miera Juarez, Belen Saenz, 2018. "Working Times and Overweight: Tight Schedules, Weaker Fitness?," IZA Discussion Papers 11702, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Jennifer M. Mellor, 2011. "Do cigarette taxes affect children's body mass index? The effect of household environment on health," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 417-431, April.
    5. Kemp, Gordon C.R. & Santos Silva, J.M.C., 2012. "Regression towards the mode," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 170(1), pages 92-101.
    6. Md. Alauddin Majumder, 2013. "Does Obesity Matter for Wages? Evidence from the United States," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 32(2), pages 200-217, June.
    7. Bemile, Esther & Anders, Sven M., 2014. "Linking Diet-Health Behaviour and Obesity using Propensity Score Matching," 2014 International Congress, August 26-29, 2014, Ljubljana, Slovenia 182832, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    8. John Komlos, 2009. "Recent Trends in Height by Gender and Ethnicity in the US in Relation to Levels of Income," NBER Working Papers 14635, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Alberto Gago & Xavier Labandeira & Xiral López Otero, 2014. "A Panorama on Energy Taxes and Green Tax Reforms," Hacienda Pública Española / Review of Public Economics, IEF, vol. 208(1), pages 145-190, March.
    10. Johnston, David W. & Lordan, Grace, 2012. "Discrimination makes me sick! An examination of the discrimination–health relationship," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 99-111.
    11. Chouinard, Hayley H & Davis, David E. & LaFrance, Jeffrey T. & Perloff, Jeffrey M, 2005. "The Effects of a Fat Tax on Dairy Products," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt60t1f3tn, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
    12. Cinzia Di Novi, 2007. "An Economic Evaluation of Life-Style and Air-pollution-related Damages: Results from the BRFSS," JEPS Working Papers 07-001, JEPS.
    13. Maria L. Loureiro & Rodolfo M. Nayga, 2007. "Physician's Advice Affects Adoption of Desirable Dietary Behaviors," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 29(2), pages 318-330.
    14. Christopher Carpenter & Sebastian Tello-Trillo, . "Do 'Cheeseburger Bills' Work? Effects of Tort Reform for Fast Food," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(4).
    15. Sarma, Sisira & Zaric, Gregory S. & Campbell, M. Karen & Gilliland, Jason, 2014. "The effect of physical activity on adult obesity: Evidence from the Canadian NPHS panel," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 14(C), pages 1-21.
    16. Brunello, Giorgio & D'Hombres, Beatrice, 2007. "Does body weight affect wages?: Evidence from Europe," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 1-19, March.
    17. Ehmke, Mariah D. & Warziniack, Travis & Schroeter, Christiane & Morgan, Kari, 2008. "Applying Experimental Economics to Obesity in the Family Household," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 40(2), pages 539-549, August.
    18. Scott A. Carson, 2017. "Assessing Cumulative Net Nutrition and the Transition from 19th Century Bound to Free-Labor by Ethnic Status," CESifo Working Paper Series 6813, CESifo.
    19. Brendan Kline & Justin L. Tobias, 2014. "Explaining Trends in Body Mass Index Using Demographic Counterfactuals," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(1-4), pages 172-196, June.
    20. Alois Stutzer & Armando N. Meier, 2016. "Limited Self‐control, Obesity, and the Loss of Happiness," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(11), pages 1409-1424, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Grocery tax; Diabetes; Obesity;
    All these keywords.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:spr:hecrev:v:11:y:2021:i:1:d:10.1186_s13561-021-00306-2. 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: . General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com/economics/journal/13561 .

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Sonal Shukla or Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com/economics/journal/13561 .

    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.