The Influence of Geography and Measurement in Estimating Cigarette Price Responsiveness
Kilts Center for Marketing at Chicago Booth – Nielsen Dataset Paper Series 2-044
35 Pages Posted: 25 May 2016
Date Written: May 23, 2016
We use data from the 2006-07 and 2010-11 waves of the Tobacco Use Supplement of the Current Population Survey to calculate cigarette price elasticities that compensate for within-state cigarette prices, which includes variation from the local tax environment. We use four state-level cigarette price measures and two sub-state-level cigarette price measures. For the two local price measures, we exploit month specific changes in these two prices in 446 sub-state areas of the United States. We document substantial variation in within-state prices, and we calculate that this variation approximately triples estimates of cigarette price responsiveness compared to using state-level prices. When using local prices, we calculate that a 10% rise in cigarette prices reduces cigarette consumption by a mean of 2.5%, which ranges from a 1.7% reduction at a price level $3 to a 5.6% reduction at a price level of $9. Our results suggest an important role for the local tax environment in studies of cigarette price responsiveness.
Keywords: tobacco use, cigarette excise taxes, price responsiveness, elasticities
JEL Classification: I12, I18, H20
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation