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

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Miao, Zhen & Beghin, John C. & Jensen, Helen H., 2011. "Accounting for Product Substitution in the Analysis of Food Taxes Targeting Obesity," 2011 Annual Meeting, July 24-26, 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 103320, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea11:103320
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Timothy J. Richards & Paul M. Patterson & Abebayehu Tegene, 2007. "Obesity And Nutrient Consumption: A Rational Addiction?," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 25(3), pages 309-324, July.
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    5. Abdulai, Awudu & Aubert, Dominique, 2004. "Nonparametric and parametric analysis of calorie consumption in Tanzania," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 113-129, April.
    6. 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, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Joan Gil & Guillem López Casasnovas & Toni Mora, 2013. "Taxation of unhealthy consumption of food and drinks: An updated literature review," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 207(4), pages 119-140, December.
    2. Bíró, Anikó, 2015. "Did the junk food tax make the Hungarians eat healthier?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 107-115.
    3. Mora, Toni & Llargués, Esteve & Recasens, Assumpta, 2015. "Does health education affect BMI? Evidence from a school-based randomised-control trial," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 17(C), pages 190-201.
    4. Alberto Gago & Xavier Labandeira & Xiral López Otero, 2014. "A Panorama on Energy Taxes and Green Tax Reforms," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 208(1), pages 145-190, March.
    5. Alasdair Gardiner, 2016. "Implications of a Sugar Tax in New Zealand: Incidence and Effectiveness," Treasury Working Paper Series 16/09, New Zealand Treasury.
    6. Santeramo, Fabio Gaetano & Shabnam, Nadia, 2015. "The income-elasticity of calories, macro and micro nutrients: What is the literature telling us?," MPRA Paper 63754, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Wilson, Norbert L. W. & Zheng, Yuqing & Burney, Shaheer & Kaiser, Harry M., 2016. "Do Grocery Food Sales Taxes Cause Food Insecurity?," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235324, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    discretionary calories; fat; food demand; health policy nutrition; low-fat; low-sugar substitutes; obesity; sugar; sweeteners; tax; Agricultural and Food Policy; Demand and Price Analysis; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; Health Economics and Policy; I18; Q18;

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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