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Can Soft Drink Taxes Reduce Population Weight?

Author

Listed:
  • Jason M. Fletcher
  • David Frisvold
  • Nathan Tefft

Abstract

Soft drink consumption has been hypothesized as one of the major factors in the growing rates of obesity in the US. Nearly two-thirds of all states currently tax soft drinks using excise taxes, sales taxes, or special exemptions to food exemptions from sales taxes to reduce consumption of this product, raise revenue, and improve public health. In this paper, we evaluate the impact of changes in state soft drink taxes on body mass index (BMI), obesity, and overweight. Our results suggest that soft drink taxes influence BMI, but that the impact is small in magnitude.

Suggested Citation

  • Jason M. Fletcher & David Frisvold & Nathan Tefft, 2008. "Can Soft Drink Taxes Reduce Population Weight?," Emory Economics 0808, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  • Handle: RePEc:emo:wp2003:0808
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Philip J. Cook & George Tauchen, 1982. "The Effect of Liquor Taxes on Heavy Drinking," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 379-390, Autumn.
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    3. Roy Bahl & Richard Bird & Mary Beth Walker, 2003. "The Uneasy Case Against Discriminatory Excise Taxation: Soft Drink Taxes in Ireland," Public Finance Review, , vol. 31(5), pages 510-533, September.
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    8. Michael Grossman, 1993. "Policy Watch: Alcohol and Cigarette Taxes," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 211-222, Fall.
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    14. Fred Kuchler & Abebayehu Tegene & J. Michael Harris, 2005. "Taxing Snack Foods: Manipulating Diet Quality or Financing Information Programs?," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 27(1), pages 4-20.
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    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare

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