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Taxation of unhealthy consumption of food and drinks: An updated literature review

Joan Gil (), Guillem López Casasnovas and Toni Mora ()

Hacienda Pública Española, 2013, vol. 207, issue 4, 119-140

Abstract: By means of a literature review this paper aims at shedding more light on the potentialities of unhealthy food/drink taxation in changing eating patterns and life styles and hence combating the obesity epidemic. One remarkable point that emerges when assessing the set of selected papers is the existence of a wide diversity of objectives, methodologies, settings and datasets, policies implemented and results achieved by all these studies, which undoubtedly adds complexity to any attempt to draw a general conclusion on fast food taxation. Most of the examined studies predict a rather modest fiscal impact on unhealthy food and drinks consumption and/or nutrition intake and consequently a poor result on weight loss and obesity, by the interplay of several factors among them the effects of cross-price elasticities.

Keywords: Unhealthy food taxation; Fast food; Caloric drinks; Obesity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H31 I12 I18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:hpe:journl:y:2013:v:207:i:4:p:119-140