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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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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w12242.pdf
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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 & Sara Fisher Ellison, 2005. "Lessons About Markets from the Internet," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 139-158, Spring.
  2. Mitchel Y. Abolafia (ed.), 2005. "Markets," Books, Edward Elgar, number 2788, March.
  3. Brown, Jeffrey, 2000. "Does the Internet Make Markets More Competitive? Evidence from the Life Insurance Industry," Working Paper Series rwp00-007, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  4. Glenn Ellison & Sara Fisher Ellison, 2009. "Search, Obfuscation, and Price Elasticities on the Internet," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(2), pages 427-452, 03.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Glenn Ellison, 2003. "A Model of Add-on Pricing," NBER Working Papers 9721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Baye, Michael & GATTI, RUPERT J & Kattuman, Paul & Morgan, John, 2004. "Estimating Firm-Level Demand at a Price Comparison Site: Accounting for Shoppers and the Number of Competitors," Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series qt923692d1, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  9. Austan Goolsbee, 2001. "Competition in the Computer Industry: Online Versus Retail," NBER Chapters, in: E-commerce, pages 487-499 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  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. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:i:4:p:964-982 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Hausman, Jerry & Hall, Bronwyn H & Griliches, Zvi, 1984. "Econometric Models for Count Data with an Application to the Patents-R&D Relationship," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 909-38, July.
  14. Austan Goolsbee, 2000. "In A World Without Borders: The Impact Of Taxes On Internet Commerce," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 561-576, May.
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