An experimental investigation of the impact of fat taxes: Price effects, food stigma, and information effects on economic instruments to improve dietary health

  • Author / Creator
    Lacanilao, Ryan D.
  • This thesis investigates how a tax and warning label on less healthy snack food products may affect consumer behaviour when the imposition of the tax is a source of consumer information. A survey that included choice experiments was implemented in supermarkets. Participants were asked to choose between high fat snacks, some displaying a stigmatizing warning label, and healthier snacks. Multinomial logit and latent class models exploring choice were estimated and a predictive hypothetical market was set up. Results show that the warning label had a negative price premium of about $4. The effect of price, though small, becomes even smaller as BMI increases. A fat tax for health is not recommended because it might not hit the target population, people were not very price sensitive, and it would likely be regressive. To encourage health, it appears to be more effective to display a warning label than to apply a tax.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2009
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.