Economics Feed

"The effect of soda taxes beyond beverages in Philadelphia"


Soda taxes are implemented in several cities across the United States (US) with the aim of reducing sugar intake from sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs). Sugar is linked to obesity and to higher risk of diabetes and cardiovascular conditions. Sodas are targeted with these taxes since they are the main source of sugar for consumers in the US. In presence of potential substitutes, the policy can be undermined by consumers changing their sources of sugar. We examine the heterogeneous effects of the 2017 Philadelphia soda tax on purchases of other items containing sugar. We present an empirical evaluation focusing on the potential substitution toward additional sugary foods in Philadelphia and counties bordering Philadelphia. We find an increase in sugar from purchases of sweetened foods of about 4.3% following the introduction of the tax in Philadelphia and of 3.7% in the neighboring localities. The substitution to sugary foods in Philadelphia offsets 19% of the decrease of sugar from SSBs. Additionally, we find that the substitution offsets 37% of the decrease of sugar from SSBs when including counties bordering Philadelphia. These results suggest that while SSB taxes might be effective at lowering consumption of SSBs, substitution patterns may limit the effectiveness of the tax to reduce overall sugar intake.

"Before You Make Econ. Policy, Apply the 'Dancing Chicken' Rule to Yourself"

Entertaining, wise piece.

My point is, having no experience idiots in Washington direct economic policy is akin to having Boy George lead you into combat instead of Audie Murphy. . . . 

Shouldn’t policy be made by those in the real world who produce everything? Shouldn’t those with a PhD in the real world be at the helm? 

Getting a Real World Studies PhD begins in adolescence with a job. . . . 

"Canada Is Euthanizing Its Sick and Poor. Welcome to World of Government Health Care"

Something to rapidly aging folks--like me--to be concerned about.

As the Canadian government pays for health care, it is incentivized to cut costs as much as possible. Based on how eager some hospitals seem to push euthanasia, the government seems to have concluded that it’s cheaper to kill people than to cure them.  

See also "Canada’s Euthanasia Culture Previews What’s To Come On America’s Deadly Medicare Trajectory" and "Don’t go to A&E".