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Accounting for Product Substitution in the Analysis of Food Taxes Targeting Obesity

  • Miao, Zhen
  • Beghin, John C.
  • Jensen, Helen H.

We extend the existing literature on food taxes targeting obesity. First, we incorporate the implicit substitution between sugar and fat nutrients implied by a complete food demand system and by conditioning on how food taxes affect total calorie intake. Second, we propose a methodology that accounts for the ability of consumers to substitute leaner low-fat and low-sugar items for rich food items within the same food group. This substitution is integrated into a demand system in addition to substitution among food groups. Simulations of a tax on added sugars show that the impact of the tax on consumption patterns is understated and the effect on welfare loss overstated when abstracting from this substitution within food groups.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/103320
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Paper provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its series 2011 Annual Meeting, July 24-26, 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with number 103320.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea11:103320
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  1. Jay Bhattacharya & M. Kate Bundorf, 2005. "The Incidence of the Healthcare Costs of Obesity," NBER Working Papers 11303, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Cash, Sean B. & Sunding, David L. & Zilberman, David, 2004. "Fat Taxes And Thin Subsidies: Prices, Diet, And Health Outcomes," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 19961, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  3. Shankar, Bhavani, 2009. "Fat Chance: Modelling the Socio-Economic Determinants of Dietary Fat Intake in China," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51538, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  4. Chouinard, Hayley H. & Davis, David E. & LaFrance, Jeffrey T. & Perloff, Jeffrey M., 2006. "Milk Marketing Order Winners and Losers," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21238, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  5. Zhen Miao & John C. Beghin & Helen H. Jensen, 2012. "Taxing Sweets: Sweetener Input Tax Or Final Consumption Tax?," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 30(3), pages 344-361, 07.
  6. Albert J. Reed & J. William Levedahl & Charles Hallahan, 2005. "The Generalized Composite Commodity Theorem and Food Demand Estimation," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(1), pages 28-37.
  7. Richards, Timothy J. & Patterson, Paul M. & Tegene, Abebayehu, 2004. "Obesity and Nutrient Consumption: A Rational Addiction?," Working Papers 28539, Arizona State University, Morrison School of Agribusiness and Resource Management.
  8. Kuchler, Fred & Tegene, Abebayehu & Harris, James Michael, 2004. "Taxing Snack Foods: What to Expect for Diet and Tax Revenues," Agricultural Information Bulletins 33607, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  9. John C. Beghin & Jean-Christophe Bureau & Sophie Drogué, 2003. "Calibration of Incomplete Demand Systems in Quantitative Analysis, The," Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) Publications 03-wp324, Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) at Iowa State University.
  10. Smith, Travis A. & Biing-Hwan, Lin & Lee, Jonq-Ying, 2010. "Taxing Caloric Sweetened Beverages: Potential Effects on Beverage Consumption, Calorie Intake, and Obesity," Economic Research Report 95465, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  11. Abdulai, Awudu & Aubert, Dominique, 2004. "Nonparametric and parametric analysis of calorie consumption in Tanzania," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 113-129, April.
  12. Smed, Sinne & Jensen, Jorgen D. & Denver, Sigrid, 2007. "Socio-economic characteristics and the effect of taxation as a health policy instrument," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(5-6), pages 624-639.
  13. Sanjib Bhuyan & Rigoberto A. Lopez, 1997. "Oligopoly Power in the Food and Tobacco Industries," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(3), pages 1035-1043.
  14. Schroeter, Christiane & Lusk, Jayson & Tyner, Wallace, 2008. "Determining the impact of food price and income changes on body weight," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 45-68, January.
  15. John Beghin & Jean-Christophe Bureau & Sophie Drogue, 2004. "Calibration of incomplete demand systems in quantitative analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(8), pages 839-847.
  16. Olivier Allais & Patrice Bertail & Véronique Nichèle, 2010. "The Effects of a Fat Tax on French Households' Purchases: A Nutritional Approach," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 92(1), pages 228-245.
  17. Yaniv, Gideon & Rosin, Odelia & Tobol, Yossef, 2009. "Junk-food, home cooking, physical activity and obesity: The effect of the fat tax and the thin subsidy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(5-6), pages 823-830, June.
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