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Do Grocery Food Sales Taxes Cause Food Insecurity?

Author

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  • Wilson, Norbert L. W.
  • Zheng, Yuqing
  • Burney, Shaheer
  • Kaiser, Harry M.

Abstract

Grocery (food sales) taxes exist in over one-third of U.S. counties but do not apply to purchases made with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). We examine the impact of grocery tax rates on food insecurity, and its differential impact on SNAP participants and non-participants. By using data from the Current Population Survey Food Security Supplement matched with county-level grocery tax rates, we found that grocery taxes had a positive impact on increasing only the probability of non-SNAP households being food insecure. Such result implies that the SNAP program also indirectly reduces food insecurity by shielding participants from the negative effects of grocery taxes. Policy makers should target eligibility of non-participating SNAP households in states that tax food in order to reduce food insecurity.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea16:235324
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/235324
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    food security; grocery food; sales tax; SNAP; food stamps; Agricultural and Food Policy; Community/Rural/Urban Development; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; Food Security and Poverty; Public Economics; Q18; D12; H71;

    JEL classification:

    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue

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