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Getting into the Weeds of Tax Invariance

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  • Benjamin Hansen
  • Keaton Miller
  • Caroline Weber

Abstract

We provide the first general empirical test of tax invariance (TIV). When a 25 per-cent tax remitted by manufacturers was eliminated in Washington state and the retail cannabis excise tax was simultaneously increased from 25 to 37 percent—a shift in-tended to be revenue-neutral—TIV did not hold. Manufacturers kept two-thirds of their tax savings instead of passing all their savings through to retail firms via lower prices as predicted by TIV. One-third of the retail tax increase was passed on to consumers via higher retail prices – TIV would have predicted constant or even declining tax-inclusive retail prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Benjamin Hansen & Keaton Miller & Caroline Weber, 2017. "Getting into the Weeds of Tax Invariance," NBER Working Papers 23632, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23632
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Benjamin Hansen & Keaton Miller & Caroline Weber, 2020. "Early Evidence On Recreational Marijuana Legalization And Traffic Fatalities," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 58(2), pages 547-568, April.
    2. Hansen, Benjamin & Miller, Keaton & Weber, Caroline, 2020. "Federalism, partial prohibition, and cross-border sales: Evidence from recreational marijuana," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 187(C).
    3. Ouss, Aurélie, 2020. "Misaligned incentives and the scale of incarceration in the United States," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 191(C).
    4. Keaton Miller & Boyoung Seo, 2021. "The Effect of Cannabis Legalization on Substance Demand and Tax Revenues," National Tax Journal, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74(1), pages 107-145.
    5. Hollingsworth, Alex & Wing, Coady & Bradford, Ashley, 2020. "Comparative Effects of Recreational and Medical Marijuana Laws On Drug Use Among Adults and Adolescents," SocArXiv drx9f, Center for Open Science.
    6. Muhammad Salar Khan & Paul N. Thompson & Victor J. Tremblay, 2020. "Marijuana tax incidence, stockpiling, and cross-border substitution," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 27(1), pages 103-127, February.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • K4 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior

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