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Cigarette tax revenues and tobacco control in Japan

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The hypotheses of non-addiction, myopia and rational addiction are tested using annual, quarterly and monthly data. Changes in the prices of Japanese cigarettes can be viewed as exogenous from the point of view of consumer behaviour, because the Japanese government controls cigarette prices. The empirical results of this paper support the addiction hypothesis. The short-run and long-run price elasticities range from −0.338 to −0.421, and from −0.679 to −0.686, respectively; thus, increases in tax revenues in the long run are likely to be smaller than those in the short run. As a result, tax increases would be an effective means of curbing smoking and reducing its social cost. Furthermore, the debt compensation programmes for the Japan Railway and the National Forestry will not go according to plan, unless revenues are increased in the future.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University, Japan

Publication date: 2006-08-10

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