Weekly Roundup: From Grocery Bags to Soda Bottles

Our everyday economics includes developing nations, human capital, environment, behavioral economics, consumer spending, health care,incentives & sin taxes.

The Cigarette Tax Problem

Deciding whether they want revenue, prohibition or smuggling, lawmakers have to decide how high to make sin taxes on items like cigarettes.

Problems With Sugary Drink Taxes

To avoid inelastic demand, a sugary drink tax would need to increase price substantially. Current taxes that average less than 5% have little impact.

Why the Russian Government Loves Vodka

For 350 years, the Russian government has optimized the money it gets from vodka sales by creating a monopoly that takes advantage of inelastic demand.

A First For Denmark

Denmark just became the first country in the world to have a fat food tax. That means butter, milk, pizza, any food with more than 2.3% saturated fat content is more expensive. To be precise, for every 2.2 pounds (one…

No Longer a Sin?

Pondering health care reform, I began to wonder whether sin taxes would become Pigovian taxes. A sin tax focuses on the impact of a behavior on an individual. Levied on something that society believes is “bad” for a person, a sin…