How Far for a Buck? Tax Differences and the Location of Retail Gasoline Activity in Southeast Chicagoland
We exploit variation in gasoline and cigarettes taxes in adjacent political jurisdictions for northern Illinois and Indiana to examine consumers' trade-off between prices and travel. We develop a model that relates activity in the retail gasoline industry around the tax borders to consumer locations. Our results indicate that the willingness of a typical Chicagoland consumer to travel an additional mile to buy gasoline corresponds to about $0.065 to $0.084 per gallon. According to our estimates, the observed area of Chicago, the jurisdiction with the highest taxes, is missing approximately 40% of the capacity that would exist were taxes equalized. Copyright by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Volume (Year): 91 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
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