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From Coke to Coors: A Field Study of a Fat Tax and Its Unintended Consequences

44 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2012 Last revised: 28 Apr 2017

Brian Wansink

Cornell University

Andrew S. Hanks

The Ohio State University

David R. Just

Cornell University - Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management

Date Written: May 26, 2012

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Sugar-sweetened beverage, soft drinks, tax, substitution, obesity, beer, unintended consequences

JEL Classification: D10, H31, I18

Suggested Citation

Wansink, Brian and Hanks, Andrew S. and Just, David R., From Coke to Coors: A Field Study of a Fat Tax and Its Unintended Consequences (May 26, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2079840 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2079840

Brian Wansink

Cornell University ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

Andrew S. Hanks (Contact Author)

The Ohio State University ( email )

130A Campbell Hall
1787 Neil Ave.
Columbus, OH OH 43210
United States

David R. Just

Cornell University - Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management ( email )

Ithaca, NY
United States
607-255-2086 (Phone)
607-255-9984 (Fax)

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