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Demand and Distance: Evidence on Cross-Border Shopping

  • Asplund, Björn Marcus
  • Friberg, Richard
  • Wilander, Fredrik

While many studies have documented deviations from the Law of One Price in international settings, evidence is scarce on the extent to which consumers take advantage of price differentials and engage in cross border shopping. We use data from 287 Swedish municipalities to estimate how responsive alcohol sales are to foreign prices, and relate the sensitivity to the location’s distance to the border. Typical results suggest that the elasticity with respect to the foreign price is around 0.4 in the border region; moving 200 (400) kilometres inland reduces it to 0.2 (0.1). Given that cross-country price differences for alcohol and other products are often caused by taxes, our evidence has implications for the debate on tax competition/harmonization.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4983.

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Date of creation: Apr 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4983
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  1. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Michael M. Knetter, 1997. "Goods Prices and Exchange Rates: What Have We Learned?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1243-1272, September.
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  4. Joris Pinkse & Margaret E. Slade & Craig Brett, 2002. "Spatial Price Competition: A Semiparametric Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 1111-1153, May.
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  7. Jeffrey R. Campbell & Beverly Lapham, 2004. "Real Exchange Rate Fluctuations and the Dynamics of Retail Trade Industries on the U. S.-Canada Border," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1194-1206, September.
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  9. Charles Engel & John H. Rogers, 1995. "How wide is the border?," Research Working Paper 95-09, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  10. Austan Goolsbee, 1998. "In a World Without Borders: The Impact of Taxes on Internet Commerce," NBER Working Papers 6863, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Friberg, Richard & Asplund, Marcus & Wilander, Fredrik, 2005. "Demand and Distance: Evidence on Cross-Border Shopping," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 587, Stockholm School of Economics.
  12. Baltagi, Badi H & Griffin, James M, 1995. "A Dynamic Demand Model for Liquor: The Case for Pooling," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(3), pages 545-54, August.
  13. Nielsen, Søren Bo, 1998. "A simple model of commodity taxation and cross-border shopping," Working Papers 13-1998, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics.
  14. You-Qiang Wang, 1999. "Commodity Taxes under Fiscal Competition: Stackelberg Equilibrium and Optimality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 974-981, September.
  15. Michael Keen, 2002. "Some International Issues in Commodity Taxation," IMF Working Papers 02/124, International Monetary Fund.
  16. Ravi Kanbur & Michael Keen, 1991. "Jeux Sans Frontieres: Tax Competition and Tax Coordination when Countries Differ in Size," Working Papers 819, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  17. Garrett, Thomas A. & Marsh, Thomas L., 2002. "The revenue impacts of cross-border lottery shopping in the presence of spatial autocorrelation," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 501-519, July.
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