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Cross-Border Shopping and the Sales Tax: An Examination of Food Purchases in West Virginia

Mehmet Tosun () and Mark Skidmore

The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, 2007, vol. 7, issue 1, 1-20

Abstract: In this article we present new evidence of cross-border shopping in response to sales taxation. While several instructive studies provide estimates of the cross-border shopping effect, we utilize a unique opportunity to evaluate the effect of a large discrete change in sales tax policy. Using county level data on food sales and sales tax rates for West Virginia over the 1988-1991 period we estimate that for every one-percentage point increase in the county relative price ratio due to the sales tax change, per capita food sales decreased by about 1.38 percent. Our estimates indicate that food sales fell in West Virginia border counties by about eight percent as a result of the imposition of the six percent sales tax on food at the beginning of 1990.

Date: 2007
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Working Paper: Cross-Border Shopping and the Sales Tax: A Reexamination of Food Purchases in West Virginia (2005) Downloads
Working Paper: Cross-Border Shopping and the Sales Tax: A Reexamination of Food Purchases in West Virginia (2005)
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