NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Who Pays Cigarette Taxes? The Impact of Consumer Price Search

Philip DeCicca, Donald S. Kenkel, Feng Liu

NBER Working Paper No. 15942
Issued in April 2010
NBER Program(s):   HE

We conduct an empirical study of the impact of consumer price-search on the shifting of cigarette excise taxes to consumer prices. We use novel data on the prices smokers report actually paying for cigarettes. We document substantial price dispersion. We find that cigarette taxes are shifted at lower rates to the prices paid by consumers who undertake more price search – carton buyers, and especially, smokers who buy cartons of cigarettes in a state other than their state of residence. We also find suggestive evidence that taxes are shifted at slightly higher rates to the prices paid by non-daily smokers, less addicted smokers, and smokers of light cigarettes.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w15942

Published: Philip DeCicca & Donald Kenkel & Feng Liu, 2013. "Who Pays Cigarette Taxes? The Impact of Consumer Price Search," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(2), pages 516-529, May. citation courtesy of

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