Taxation and economic incentives

Franco Sassi, Annalisa Belloni, Chiara Capobianco, Alberto Alemanno

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Taxes and other fiscal measures on commodities that have a potential impact on health are in widespread use throughout the globe, and have been so for centuries. The motivation for such taxes has been more often linked to the fiscal revenues generated than to their potential public health benefits. However, especially in more recent times, an increased emphasis has been placed on the latter by many governments, as evidence emerged of the adverse public health, social and economic consequences of the consumption of certain commodities. An increasing number of governments are seeking to expand their use of fiscal measures to promote healthier behaviours, not only by increasing tax rates on commodities such as tobacco products and alcoholic beverages, but also by exploring the scope for taxing selected foods and non-alcoholic beverages as a way to make people’s diets healthier. A number of countries apply different tax rates to certain food categories, and some have specific taxes on foods high in salt, sugar or fat, and on sugary drinks. In only the past two years, countries such as Denmark, Hungary, Finland and France have introduced taxes on various foods and non-alcoholic beverages, and many more have been debating the possible use of similar measures.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRegulating Lifestyle Risks
Subtitle of host publicationThe Eu, Alcohol, Tobacco and Unhealthy Diets
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages94-119
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9781107478114
ISBN (Print)9781107063426
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Cambridge University Press 2015.

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