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Internet Retail Demand: Taxes, Geography, and Online-Offline Competition

  • Glenn Ellison
  • Sara Fisher Ellison

Data on sales of memory modules are used to explore several aspects of e-retail demand. There is a strong relationship between e-retail sales to a given state and sales tax rates that apply to purchases from online retailers. This suggests that there is substantial substitution between online and online retail, and tax avoidance may be an important contributor to e-retail activity. Geography matters in two ways: we find some evidence that consumers prefer purchasing from firms in nearby states to benefit from faster shipping times as well as evidence of a separate preference for buying from in-state firms. Consumers appear fairly rational in some ways, but boundedly rational in others.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12242.

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Date of creation: May 2006
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12242
Note: IO PE
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  1. Glenn Ellison, 2005. "A Model of Add-on Pricing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(2), pages 585-637, May.
  2. Michael R. Baye & John Morgan, 2004. "Price Dispersion in the Lab and on the Internet: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers 2004-02, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  3. 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.
  4. Jeffrey R. Brown & Austan Goolsbee, 2002. "Does the Internet Make Markets More Competitive? Evidence from the Life Insurance Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(3), pages 481-507, June.
  5. Michael R. Baye & J. Rupert J. Gatti & Paul Kattuman & John Morgan, 2005. "Estimating Firm-Level Demand at a Price Comparison Site: Accounting for Shoppers and the Number of Competitors," Microeconomics 0504005, EconWPA.
  6. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:i:4:p:964-982 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Goolsbee, Austan, 2001. "Competition in the Computer Industry: Online versus Retail," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 487-99, December.
  8. John Morgan & Tanjim Hossain, 2006. "...plus shipping and handling: Revenue (non) equivalence in field experiments on ebay," Natural Field Experiments 00270, The Field Experiments Website.
  9. Jerry A. Hausman & Bronwyn H. Hall & Zvi Griliches, 1984. "Econometric Models for Count Data with an Application to the Patents-R&D Relationship," NBER Technical Working Papers 0017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Glenn Ellison & Sara Fisher Ellison, 2004. "Search, Obfuscation, and Price Elasticities on the Internet," NBER Working Papers 10570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Peter Davis, 2006. "Spatial competition in retail markets: movie theaters," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(4), pages 964-982, December.
  12. Glenn Ellison & Sara Fisher Ellison, 2005. "Lessons About Markets from the Internet," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 139-158, Spring.
  13. Michael D. Smith & Erik Brynjolfsson, 2001. "Consumer Decision-making at an Internet Shopbot: Brand Still Matters," NBER Chapters, in: E-commerce, pages 541-558 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Mitchel Y. Abolafia (ed.), 2005. "Markets," Books, Edward Elgar, number 2788, 6.
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