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The Political Economy of Soda Taxation

Sriparna Ghosh () and Joshua Hall
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Sriparna Ghosh: St. Mary`s College of Maryland

Economics Bulletin, 2018, vol. 38, issue 2, 1045-1051

Abstract: There has been an increase in the prevalence of obesity in the United States over the past several decades. The academic literature has highlighted numerous possible causes, including the consumption of soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages. Soda taxes have been suggested as a way of reducing the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and a number of U.S. states ``disfavor' sugar-sweetened beverages relative to food in their tax code. In this note we employ a political economy model to explain the adoption of these ``soda taxes.' We find that more Democratic states and those with a higher rate of adult obesity are more likely to have soda taxes and states with more convenience stores per capita are less likely to have adopted a tax. Our results inform future attempts to pass SSB taxes.

Keywords: soda; sugar-sweetened beverages; political economy; median voter; special interests (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I1 H7 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018-05-25
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Working Paper: The Political Economy of Soda Taxation (2015) Downloads
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