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Institutional Affiliation: Mathematica Policy Research
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|September 2018||The Pass-Through of the Largest Tax on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages: The Case of Boulder, Colorado|
with John Cawley, Chelsea Crain, David Frisvold: w25050
We estimate the incidence of a relatively new type of excise tax, a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs). We examine the largest such tax to date, which is two cents per ounce, in Boulder, CO. Using data that were hand-collected from stores and restaurants in both Boulder and two control communities, as well as internet data of restaurant menus, we find that the tax was largely, but not completely, passed through to consumers 5-7 weeks after implementation. Some retailers add the tax only at the register, indicating that estimates solely from posted prices would result in an underestimate of pass-through.
|The Impact of the Philadelphia Beverage Tax on Purchases and Consumption by Adults and Children|
with John Cawley, David Frisvold, Anna Hill: w25052
In recent years, numerous U.S. cities have enacted taxes on sweetened beverages, but there is relatively little evidence about the effects of these taxes on purchases and consumption. In this paper, we examine the effects of the beverage tax of 1.5 cents per ounce that was implemented in Philadelphia starting January 1, 2017. We surveyed individuals in Philadelphia and nearby comparison communities before the tax and nearly one year after implementation of the tax about their purchases and consumption of beverages. We find that purchases of taxed beverages fell by 8.9 ounces per shopping trip in Philadelphia stores relative to comparison stores outside of the city and that Philadelphia residents increased purchases of taxed beverages outside of the city. The tax reduced adults’ frequen...
|The Impact of the Philadelphia Beverage Tax on Prices and Product Availability|
with John Cawley, David Frisvold, Anna Hill: w24990
In recent years, numerous cities in the U.S. have enacted taxes on beverages to promote health and raise revenue. This paper examines the impact of Philadelphia’s beverage tax, enacted in 2017, on the prices and availability of taxed beverages and untaxed beverages that may be substitutes for consumers. Using original data we collected in late 2016 and again one year later, we estimate a difference-in-differences regression of the change over time in beverage prices and product availability in stores in Philadelphia relative to stores in nearby counties. We find that, on average, distributors and retailers fully pass the tax through to consumers, but there is heterogeneity in the pass-through rate among stores. Pass-through is greater among stores in higher-poverty neighborhoods, stores lo...