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Shifting on prices of per unit and ad valorem consumption taxes

Clément Carbonnier

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Abstract: Economic theory states that on market with imperfect competition, per unit consumption taxes should induce a larger increase of prices than ad valorem consumption taxes. It implies that consumers bear a larger share of the tax burden for per unit consumption taxes than for ad valorem consumption taxes. The present paper aims at testing empirically this theoretical result. It uses the French market for alcoholic beverages, which is submitted to both per unit (excise taxes) and ad valorem (VAT) consumption taxes. Econometrics is implemented on two reforms of consumption taxes a ecting two French market for alcoholic beverages, beers and aperitifs. In 1995, the full rate of VAT increased from 18,6% to 20,6%; excise taxes on alcoholic beverages increased heterogeneously in 1997. Graphical evidence and econometrical results confi rm the statements of economic theory. For both classes of alcoholic beverages - beers and aperitifs - the shifting on prices of per unit excise taxes was signi cantly larger than the shifting of ad valorem VAT.

Keywords: tax incidence; VAT; excise taxes; alcoholic beverages; imperfect competition (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011-07-11
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