September 11, 2018

Latin America Tobacco Tax Research Network in Full Swing

Last week at the Mercosur Parliament in Montevideo, Uruguay, the Tobacconomics team participated in a research review meeting with its Latin America think tank partner network coordinated by the South American Network on Applied Economics (Red Sur).

The Tobacco Taxes in Latin America project mobilizes seven Latin American research centers to study tobacco tax policy alternatives in Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru, where 263,000 people die annually from tobacco-related causes. This research is now entering the results phase and will provide analysis of the impacts of the tobacco tax structure and recent tax reforms on tobacco consumption and production in Argentina, propose sustainable tax schemes for Peru and Ecuador, estimate the demand for tobacco products and revenue and distributive impacts of increasing tobacco taxes in Mexico, and examine the trade of inputs to cigarette production between Brazil and Paraguay and how this contributes to illicit trade.

The research was generated through an open call for proposals in the region coordinated by Red Sur. Once the team of evaluators selected research proposals, the network came together in March to receive feedback from the Tobacconomics and Red Sur team of experts. This past week, the researchers assembled again in Montevideo to discuss their preliminary results and received feedback for further refinements and analysis. Coming up in November, the research teams will share their results at the Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association Meeting in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

While the research network has been conducting its work, the UIC Tobacconomics team has also published two policy briefs on the economics of tobacco control in the Latin American region:

Best Practices for Tobacco Tax Policies in Latin America and the Caribbean, which addresses the challenges and opportunities for effectively implementing tobacco tax policy in Latin America, specifically focusing on best practices in tobacco taxation.

The Economics of Tobacco and Tobacco Control in Latin America, which provides a review of the economics of tobacco control efforts in the region. In addition, the brief discusses the recent evidence on the effectiveness of tobacco control measures, the impact of raising tobacco taxes on prices and government revenues, and discusses the economic impact of tobacco control measures in Latin America.

This unique collaboration between the Red Sur research network and the UIC Tobacconomics team is one of the earliest partnerships of the Tobacconomics Think Tanks project, Accelerating Progress on Effective Tobacco Tax Policies in Low- and Middle-Income Countries. We look forward to disseminating this research in the coming months to add to the in-country evidence base for more effective tobacco tax reforms.

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