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Revisiting an important Canadian natural experiment with new methods: an evaluation of the impact of the 1994 tax decrease on smoking

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  • François Gardes

    () (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Axe Economie mathématique et jeux - CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - PSE - Paris School of Economics)

  • Philip Merrigan

    () (Centre Interuniversitaire sur le Risque, les Politiques Economiques et l'Emploi - CIRPEE - UQAM - Université du Québec à Montréal)

Abstract

The panel structure of the Survey on Smoking in Canada (1994-95) and novel methods are used to estimate the impact of an important decrease in the levels of taxation of cigarettes occurring in five out of the ten Canadian provinces that intended to eradicate black market sales of cigarettes in the spring of 1994. Given that black market sales have recently increased substantially because of new taxes, a complete and thorough analysis of the 1994 policy is of particular importance for policy makers. We revisit the issue with new econometric methods to address this evaluation problem as well as focus on particular sub-groups in the Canadian population. The large sample permits precise estimation of the impact of the policy by sub-group showing that females, young males, the poorly educated and separated or divorced individuals were particularly sensitive to these dramatic changes in cigarette prices. We also compute under realistic assumptions a price-elasticity for the probability of smoking and a lower bound on the price-elasticity for the quantities of cigarettes smoked.

Suggested Citation

  • François Gardes & Philip Merrigan, 2014. "Revisiting an important Canadian natural experiment with new methods: an evaluation of the impact of the 1994 tax decrease on smoking," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00974961, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-00974961 Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00974961
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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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    5. Susan Athey & Guido W. Imbens, 2006. "Identification and Inference in Nonlinear Difference-in-Differences Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(2), pages 431-497, March.
    6. Becker, Gary S & Grossman, Michael & Murphy, Kevin M, 1994. "An Empirical Analysis of Cigarette Addiction," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 396-418, June.
    7. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-700, August.
    8. Gruber, Jonathan & Sen, Anindya & Stabile, Mark, 2003. "Estimating price elasticities when there is smuggling: the sensitivity of smoking to price in Canada," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 821-842, September.
    9. Craig A. Gallet & John A. List, 2003. "Cigarette demand: a meta-analysis of elasticities," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(10), pages 821-835.
    10. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2007.132647_2 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2006.090134_3 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Keywords

    élasticité-prix; différences en différences; difference in difference; Cigarette; price-elasticity;

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