Nutritional taxes as a policy instrument for public health: Rationales and expected impact

This article surveys the economic literature about fiscal food policies, illustrating the main issues by empirical results about the taxation of sugar-sweetened beverages. Some key insights from the article:

  • “[…] consumers are able to substitute between many food products, and producers are free to change the price and the quality of the supply; Hence, any taxation scheme may be defeated by market reactions. The behavioral and health impact of a nutritional tax should thus be low, at least at conventional levels of taxation (between 5 and 20%). […]”

You can find the whole paper here.

Ineffective consumer behaviour, Taxes unfair, What others say: experts, Fabrice Etilé, Fiscal food policy