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How well targeted are soda taxes?

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  • Dubois, Pierre
  • Griffith, Rachel
  • O'Connell, Martin

Abstract

Soda taxes aim to reduce excessive sugar consumption. Their effectiveness depends on whether they target individuals for whom the harm of consumption is largest. We estimate demand and account for supply-side equilibrium pass-through. We exploit longitudinal data to estimate individual preferences, which allows flexible heterogeneity that we relate to a wide array of individual characteristics. We show that soda taxes are effective at targeting young consumers but not individuals with high total dietary sugar; they impose the highest monetary cost on poorer individuals, but are unlikely to be strongly regressive if we account for averted future costs from over consumption.

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  • Dubois, Pierre & Griffith, Rachel & O'Connell, Martin, 2017. "How well targeted are soda taxes?," CEPR Discussion Papers 12484, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:12484
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    Cited by:

    1. Hunt Allcott & Benjamin B. Lockwood & Dmitry Taubinsky, 2019. "Should We Tax Sugar-Sweetened Beverages? An Overview of Theory and Evidence," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 33(3), pages 202-227, Summer.
    2. Cawley, John & Frisvold, David & Hill, Anna & Jones, David, 2019. "The impact of the Philadelphia beverage tax on purchases and consumption by adults and children," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(C).
    3. Dickson, Alex & Gehrsitz, Markus & Kemp, Jonathan, 2021. "Does a Spoonful of Sugar Levy Help the Calories Go Down? An Analysis of the UK Soft Drinks Industry Levy," IZA Discussion Papers 14528, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Pourya Valizadeh & Shu Wen Ng, 2021. "Would A National Sugar‐Sweetened Beverage Tax in the United States Be Well Targeted?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 103(3), pages 961-986, May.
    5. Gomo, Charity & Birg, Laura, 2018. "The economic and health impact of a tax on sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) in South Africa," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 356, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    6. SERSE Valerio,, 2019. "Do sugar taxes affect the right consumers ?," LIDAM Discussion Papers CORE 2019017, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    7. Crawford, Gregory S. & Griffith, Rachel & Iaria, Alessandro, 2021. "A survey of preference estimation with unobserved choice set heterogeneity," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 222(1), pages 4-43.
    8. Lauretta Rubini & Chiara Pollio & Giuseppe Lucio Gaeta & Elisa Barbieri, 2021. "Heterogeneous effects of spinoff foundations on the means of technology transfer: the role of past academic-industry collaborations," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 38(1), pages 261-292, April.
    9. Victor Chernozhukov & Jerry Hausman & Whitney K. Newey, 2019. "Demand analysis with many prices," CeMMAP working papers CWP59/19, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    10. Laura Cornelsen & Matthew Quaife & Mylene Lagarde & Richard D. Smith, 2020. "Framing and signalling effects of taxes on sugary drinks: A discrete choice experiment among households in Great Britain," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(10), pages 1132-1147, October.
    11. Blake, Miranda R. & Lancsar, Emily & Peeters, Anna & Backholer, Kathryn, 2019. "Sugar-sweetened beverage price elasticities in a hypothetical convenience store," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 225(C), pages 98-107.
    12. Pierre Thomas Léger & Lisa M. Powell, 2021. "The impact of the Oakland SSB tax on prices and volume sold: A study of intended and unintended consequences," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(8), pages 1745-1771, August.
    13. Aguilar, Arturo & Gutierrez, Emilio & Seira, Enrique, 2021. "The effectiveness of sin food taxes: Evidence from Mexico," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C).
    14. Felix Montag & Alina Sagimuldina & Monika Schnitzer, 2021. "Does Tax Policy Work When Consumers Have Imperfect Price Information? Theory and Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 9138, CESifo.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    discrete choice demand; Pass-Through; preference heterogeneity; soda tax;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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