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Using Empirical Point Elasticities to Teach Tax Incidence

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  • John R. Swinton
  • Christopher R. Thomas

Abstract

Using point elasticities rather than using either arc elasticities or slopes of demand and supply curves provides the best method for teaching students about the economic impacts of excise taxes. Not only does a point-elasticity approach simplify theoretical analysis of tax impacts, but it also allows instructors to take advantage of publicly available empirical estimates of demand and supply elasticities to show students how theoretical results can be applied to real-world tax policy issues. To illustrate these advantages, the authors use several available estimates of point elasticities of demand and supply of raw sugar to calculate the economic impacts of a recently proposed penny-per-pound tax on raw cane sugar grown in the Florida Everglades.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:32:y:2001:i:4:p:356-368
    DOI: 10.1080/00220480109596114
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hassan, Zuhair A. & Johnson, S.R., 1976. "Consumer demand for major foods in Canada," Miscellaneous Papers 149021, Agecon Search.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lai, Ching-Chong & Hu, Shih-Wen & Fan, Chih-Ping, 2005. "The Overshooting Hypothesis of Agricultural Prices: The Role of Asset Substitutability," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 30(01), April.
    2. 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.
    3. Chen, Li-Ju & Hu, Shih-Wen & Wang, Vey & Wen, Jiandong & Ye, Chusheng, 2014. "The effects of purchasing and price subsidy policies for agricultural products under target zones," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 439-447.
    4. Tai, Meng-Yi & Chao, Chi-Chur & Hu, Shih-Wen & Lai, Ching-Chong & Wang, Vey, 2014. "Monetary policy and price dynamics in a commodity futures market," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 372-379.

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