Eat at Home or Away from Home? The Role of Grocery and Restaurant Food Sales Taxes

Sales taxes on either grocery food or restaurant food exist in almost every U.S. county. By combining county-level sales tax data with the USDA’s recent national household food acquisition and purchase survey, we examine how a food sales tax affects consumers’ expenditures on grocery and restaurant food.We find that a grocery tax reduces consumers’ grocery food expenditures and increases restaurant food expenditure and a restaurant food sales tax increases consumers’ grocery food expenditures. We also find no differential impacts from food sales taxes based on consumers’ income or participation status in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
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Zheng, Yuqing; Dong, Diansheng; Burney, Shaheer; Kaiser, Harry M., Eat at Home or Away from Home? The Role of Grocery and Restaurant Food Sales Taxes, Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Volume 44, Issue 1, January 2019, Pages 98–116

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