From Coke to Coors: A Field Study of a Fat Tax and Its Unintended Consequences
Andrew S. Hanks
Cornell University - School of Applied Economics and Management
David R. Just
Cornell University - Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management
May 26, 2012
Could taxes on soft drinks reduce obesity? To examine this, a six-month field experiment was conducted in a small American city where half of the households faced a 10% tax and half did not. The 10% tax resulted in a short-term (1-month) decrease in soft drink purchases, but there was no decrease in purchases over a 3-month or 6-month period. Moreover, in beer-purchasing households, this tax led to increased purchases of beer.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 44
Keywords: Sugar-sweetened beverage, soft drinks, tax, substitution, obesity, beer, unintended consequences
JEL Classification: D10, H31, I18
Date posted: June 9, 2012 ; Last revised: April 26, 2014
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