49 Pages Posted: 8 May 2013 Last revised: 2 Mar 2017
Date Written: March 1, 2017
Higher sales tax in the home country relative to a neighboring country creates a huge incentive for consumers who live closer to the border to purchase goods across the border. Using a unique panel dataset of consumer financial transactions, we find that, when facing higher domestic sales tax, consumers close to the border overall spend 3 percent less domestically and in particular 15 percent less in substitutable categories relative to those far from the border. For goods that cannot be purchased across the border (utilities and services) or for which distance is irrelevant (direct marketing), there is no difference in spending behavior. Finally, we also look at store sales and find consistent evidence that domestic sales of stores near the border are lower.
Keywords: Consumption, Spending, Credit Cards, Household Finance, Banks, Discretionary Spending, Fiscal Policy, Tax
JEL Classification: D12, D14, E21, E62, G21, H27, H31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Agarwal, Sumit and Chomsisengphet, Souphala and Qian, Wenlan and Xu, Weibiao, Tax Differential and Cross-Border Shopping: Evidence from Singapore (March 1, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2262070 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2262070