Journal article

Modelling the health impact of food taxes and subsidies with price elasticities: The case for additional scaling of food consumption using the total food expenditure elasticity

Tony Blakely, Nhung Nghiem, Murat Genc, Anja Mizdrak, Linda Cobiac, Cliona Ni Mhurchu, Boyd Swinburn, Peter Scarborough, Christine Cleghorn



BACKGROUND: Food taxes and subsidies are one intervention to address poor diets. Price elasticity (PE) matrices are commonly used to model the change in food purchasing. Usually a PE matrix is generated in one setting then applied to another setting with differing starting consumptions and prices of foods. This violates econometric assumptions resulting in likely mis-estimation of total food consumption. In this paper we demonstrate this problem, canvass possible options for rescaling all consumption after applying a PE matrix, and illustrate the use of a total food expenditure elasticity (TFEe; the expenditure elasticity for all food combined given the policy-induced change in the total pri..

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Awarded by Health Research Council of New Zealand

Funding Acknowledgements

Health Research Council of New Zealand Programme Grants: Burden of Disease Epidemiology, Equity and Cost Effectiveness Programme (10/248); Effective interventions and policies to improve population nutrition and health (13/724). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.