More haircut after VAT cut? On the efficiency of service sector consumption taxes
Consumption tax rates targeted at specific sectors are often reformed without empirical knowledge about the efficiency of these policies. This paper sheds light on the efficiency issue, the potential for welfare improving reform, by studying the incidence of value added taxes (VAT) on prices and quantities of barber services traded. I also study the incidence on the profits made by the targeted firms. I utilize a VAT reform targeted at a specific service sector which creates a natural experiment set up. VAT for hairdressing services in Finland was reduced from 22% to 8%, whereas the normal tax treatment still applied to beauty salons and other labor intensive services. The choice of the treatment and control groups was exogenous to circumstances in Finland, since these groups were selected in a more wider European setting. The results suggest that hairdressers cut their prices only by half of what complete pass-through would have implied, and that there was hardly any adjustment in the equilibrium quantity due to the reform. Instead of lowering prices, most hairdressers were able to increase their profits. There is important heterogeneity in the results according to firm size.
|Date of creation:||26 Sep 2013|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Arkadiankatu 7, P.O. Box 1279, FI-00101 Helsinki|
Phone: +358 295 519 400
Fax: +358 295 519 599
Web page: http://www.vatt.fi/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Email: |
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Marion, Justin & Muehlegger, Erich J., 2010.
"Fuel Tax Incidence and Supply Conditions,"
4448995, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
- Marion, Justin & Muehlegger, Erich, 2011. "Fuel tax incidence and supply conditions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9-10), pages 1202-1212, October.
- Marion, Justin & Muehlegger, Erich, 2011. "Fuel tax incidence and supply conditions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9), pages 1202-1212.
- Justin Marion & Erich Muehlegger, 2011. "Fuel Tax Incidence and Supply Conditions," NBER Working Papers 16863, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Marion, Justin & Muehlegger, Erich, 2010. "Fuel Tax Incidence and Supply Conditions," Working Paper Series rwp10-014, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
- Hamilton, Stephen F., 1999. "Tax incidence under oligopoly: a comparison of policy approaches," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 233-245, February.
- Poterba, James M., 1996. "Retail Price Reactions to Changes in State and Local Sales Taxes," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 49(2), pages 165-176, June.
- Myles, Gareth D., 1989. "Ramsey tax rules for economies with imperfect competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 95-115, February.
- E. Glen Weyl & Michal Fabinger, 2013. "Pass-Through as an Economic Tool: Principles of Incidence under Imperfect Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(3), pages 528-583.
- Carbonnier, Clement, 2007.
"Who pays sales taxes? Evidence from French VAT reforms, 1987-1999,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 91(5-6), pages 1219-1229, June.
- Clément Carbonnier, 2007. "Who pays sales taxes? Evidence from French VAT reforms, 1987-1999," Post-Print hal-00813579, HAL.
- Besley, Timothy J. & Rosen, Harvey S., 1999.
"Sales Taxes and Prices: An Empirical Analysis,"
National Tax Journal,
National Tax Association, vol. 52(2), pages 157-178, June.
- W. J. Corlett & D. C. Hague, 1953. "Complementarity and the Excess Burden of Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(1), pages 21-30.
- James Alm & Edward Sennoga & Mark Skidmore, 2009. "Perfect Competition, Urbanization, And Tax Incidence In The Retail Gasoline Market," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 47(1), pages 118-134, 01.
- Emmanuel Saez, 2000.
"The Desirability of Commodity Taxation under Non-Linear Income Taxation and Heterogeneous Tastes,"
NBER Working Papers
8029, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Saez, Emmanuel, 2002. "The desirability of commodity taxation under non-linear income taxation and heterogeneous tastes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 217-230, February.
- repec:ntj:journl:v:52:y:1999:i:n._2:p:157-78 is not listed on IDEAS
- Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1976. "The design of tax structure: Direct versus indirect taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 55-75.
- Diamond, Peter A & Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "Optimal Taxation and Public Production II: Tax Rules," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(3), pages 261-278, June.
- repec:ntj:journl:v:49:y:1996:i:no._2:p:165-76 is not listed on IDEAS
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fer:wpaper:49. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Anita Niskanen)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.