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Obesity and smoking: can we catch two birds with one tax?

Author

Listed:
  • Davide Dragone

    () (University of Bologna)

  • Francesco Manaresi

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Luca Savorelli

    () (University of St. Andrews)

Abstract

The debate on tobacco and fat taxes often treats smoking and eating as independent behaviors. However, the available evidence shows that they are interdependent, which implies that policies against smoking or obesity may have larger scope than expected. To address this issue, we propose a dynamic rational model where eating and smoking are simultaneous choices that jointly affect body weight and addiction to smoking. Focusing on direct and cross-price effects, we compare tobacco taxes and food taxes and we show that a single policy tool can reduce both smoking and body weight. In particular, food taxes can be more effective than tobacco taxes at simultaneously fighting obesity and smoking.

Suggested Citation

  • Davide Dragone & Francesco Manaresi & Luca Savorelli, 2013. "Obesity and smoking: can we catch two birds with one tax?," Discussion Paper Series, Department of Economics 201306, Department of Economics, University of St. Andrews.
  • Handle: RePEc:san:wpecon:1306
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Barbieri, Paolo Nicola, 2017. "Modelling body weight, dieting and obesity traps," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 468(C), pages 139-146.
    2. Becchetti, Leonardo & Solferino, Nazaria & Tessitore, Maria Elisabetta, 2014. "A dynamic model of Gambling addiction with social costs: theory and policy solutions," AICCON Working Papers 133-2014, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.
    3. Barbieri, Paolo Nicola, 2016. "Weight loss, obesity traps and policy policies," MPRA Paper 71327, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Barbieri, Paolo Nicola, 2015. "Social Distortion in Weight Perception: A Decomposition of the Obesity Epidemic," Working Papers in Economics 639, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    5. Strulik, Holger, 2017. "Smoking kills: An economic theory of addiction, health deficit accumulation, and longevity," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 316, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    6. Barbieri, Paolo Nicola, 2015. "Body Weight, Dieting and Obesity Traps," MPRA Paper 67671, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Addiction; Fat Tax; Obesity; Smoking; Tobacco.;

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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