Mathematica Policy Research
955 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Institutional Affiliation: Mathematica Policy Research
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|September 2019||Oakland’s Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Tax: Impacts on Prices, Purchases and Consumption by Adults and Children|
with John Cawley, David E. Frisvold, Anna Hill: w26233
Several cities in the U.S. have implemented taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) in an attempt to improve public health and raise revenue. On July 1, 2017, Oakland California introduced a tax of one cent per ounce on SSBs. In this paper, we estimate the impact of the tax on retail prices, product availability, purchases, and child and adult consumption of taxed beverages in Oakland, as well as of potential substitute beverages. We collected data from Oakland stores and their customers and a matched group of stores in surrounding counties and their customers. We collected information in the months prior to the implementation of the tax and again a year later on: (1) prices, (2) purchase information from customers exiting the stores, and (3) a follow-up household survey of adults and ch...
|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...
Published: John Cawley & David Frisvold & Anna Hill & David Jones, 2019. "The Impact of the Philadelphia Beverage Tax on Purchases and Consumption by Adults and Children," Journal of Health Economics, .
|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...