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The Effect of Sales Tax Rates on Food Exemptions

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Abstract

In this paper I explore the relationship between the sales tax rate and the tax treatment of food in American states. One of the main difficulties in the empirical estimation of this relationship is that state governments set the two tax policy variables. This produces a potential endogeneity problem that would bias the estimates if not considered. I use instrumental variables to solve the problem and to identify the effect of the sales tax rate on the probability of having a food exemption. The empirical results show that, on average, a one percentual point increase in the sales tax rate increases by 20% the probability of having a food exemption.

Suggested Citation

  • Claudio Agostini, 2004. "The Effect of Sales Tax Rates on Food Exemptions," ILADES-Georgetown University Working Papers inv155, Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines.
  • Handle: RePEc:ila:ilades:inv155
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    1. Pollock, Stephen H., 1991. "Mechanisms for Exporting the State Sales Tax Burden in the Absence of Federal Deductibility," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 44(3), pages 297-310, September.
    2. Pollock, Stephen H., 1991. "Mechanisms for Exporting the State Sales Tax Burden in the Absence of Federal Deductibility," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 44(3), pages 297-310, September.
    3. George Warskett & Stanley Winer & Walter Hettich, 1998. "The Complexity of Tax Structure in Competitive Political Systems," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 5(2), pages 123-151, May.
    4. Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1972. "The structure of indirect taxation and economic efficiency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 97-119, April.
    5. Aled Ab Iorwerth & John Whalley, 1998. "Meals on Wheels: Restaurant and Home Meal Production and the Exemption of Food from Sales and Value Added Taxes," NBER Working Papers 6653, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Hettich, Walter & Winer, Stanley L, 1988. "Economic and Political Foundations of Tax Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 701-712, September.
    7. Allers, Maarten & de Haan, Jakob & Sterks, Cees, 2001. "Partisan Influence on the Local Tax Burden in the Netherlands," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 106(3-4), pages 351-363, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Food Exemption; Sales Tax; Instrumental Variables;

    JEL classification:

    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects

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