Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Real world “sin taxes,” largely failed to meaningfully alter consumer behavior

See Soda Tax Won't Fix Waste and Corruption in Philly by Michelle Minton of CEI.
"In a study published this week by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, we found that real world “sin taxes,” aimed at curbing consumption of sugary foods and drinks largely failed to meaningfully alter consumer behavior. Most notably, the peso per liter (or 10 percent) tax enacted in Mexico in 2014 at first seemed to reduce soda sales, but a recent survey of 8,000 households found no effect on weight. Most surprisingly, researchers found that lower income families and homes with an obese head of household were least likely to reduce consumption of soda in response to the tax. And Mexico is not unique; numerous other studies find that soda taxes, even as high as 40%, were associated with only the smallest change in weight after a year. People who switched from soda to another beverage usually substituted it with equally high-calorie products."

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