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Demand and Distance: Evidence on Cross-Border Shopping

  • Friberg, Richard

    ()

    (Dept. of Economic Statistics, Stockholm School of Economics)

  • Asplund, Marcus

    ()

    (London Business School)

  • Wilander, Fredrik

    ()

    (Dept. of Economic Statistics, Stockholm School of Economics)

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) kilometers 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 Stockholm School of Economics in its series SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance with number 587.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: 28 Feb 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: Forthcoming in Journal of Public Economics.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0587
Contact details of provider: Postal: The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, 113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46-(0)8-736 90 00
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  1. 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.
  2. Pogue, Thomas F & Sgontz, Larry G, 1989. "Taxing to Control Social Costs: The Case of Alcohol," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 235-43, March.
  3. 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.
  4. Jeffrey Campbell, 2000. "Real Exchange Rate Fluctuations and the Dynamics of Retail Trade Industries on the U.S.-Canada Border," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1224, Econometric Society.
  5. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," NBER Working Papers 10480, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Engel, Charles & Rogers, John H, 1996. "How Wide Is the Border?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1112-25, December.
  7. Goldberg, Pinelopi K. & Verboven, Frank, 2005. "Market integration and convergence to the Law of One Price: evidence from the European car market," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 49-73, January.
  8. Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Michael M. Knetter, 1996. "Goods Prices and Exchange Rates: What Have We Learned?," NBER Working Papers 5862, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Haskel, Jonathan & Wolf, Holger, 2001. " The Law of One Price--A Case Study," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 103(4), pages 545-58, December.
  13. Mintz, J. & Tulkens, H., 1984. "Commodity tax competition between member states of a federation: equilibrium and efficiency," CORE Discussion Papers 1984027, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  14. Søren Bo Nielsen, . "A Simple Model of Commodity Taxation and Cross-Border Shopping," EPRU Working Paper Series 98-18, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  15. Joris Pinkse & Margaret E. Slade & Craig Brett, 2002. "Spatial Price Competition: A Semiparametric Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 1111-1153, May.
  16. 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.
  17. Michael Keen, 2002. "Some International Issues in Commodity Taxation," IMF Working Papers 02/124, International Monetary Fund.
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