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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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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
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea11:103320
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  1. 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.
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  6. Beghin, John C. & Bureau, Jean-Christophe & Drogu?, Sophie, 2004. "Calibration of Incomplete Demand Systems in Quantitative Analysis, The," Staff General Research Papers 11771, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  7. 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.
  8. 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).
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  10. Miao, Zhen & Beghin, John C. & Jensen, Helen H., 2010. "Taxing Sweets: Sweetener Input Tax or Final Consumption Tax?," 2010 Annual Meeting, July 25-27, 2010, Denver, Colorado 61511, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  11. Hayley H. Chouinard & David E. Davis & Jeffrey T. LaFrance & Jeffrey M. Perloff, 2010. "Milk Marketing Order Winners and Losers," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 32(1), pages 59-76.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  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. Jay Bhattacharya & M. Kate Bundorf, 2005. "The Incidence of the Healthcare Costs of Obesity," NBER Working Papers 11303, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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