From the Tobacconomics Team to you and yours, Season’s Greetings
Season’s Greetings From the Tobacconomics Team!
As we look back on 2018 and take stock of our accomplishments, we are thankful for our partnerships with twenty-two think tanks in seventeen countries worldwide. In 2019, we look forward to continuing this work to build the local evidence base for effective fiscal policies for health. We invite you to take a look at some of the work we’ve done over this past year, and hope that you find useful tools to further your own research and advocacy efforts.
Featured Policy Briefs
Tobacco poses a threat to development, especially in low- and middle-income countries, which have the highest rates of tobacco use. There is international recognition of not just the harmful effects of tobacco use on health, but also on hunger, poverty, education, nutrition and the environment. This policy brief demonstrates how increasing tobacco taxes can finance development in many countries. Read more about the topic here.
The tobacco industry opposes higher tobacco taxes, often arguing that increases in tobacco taxes will not result in increases in revenues. This policy brief shows that concerns about increases in taxes not increasing revenues are misguided; in fact, the evidence shows that at current levels, increases in taxes will almost always result in increases in revenues. Read more about the topic here.
Tobacco companies commonly argue that they contribute to national or regional economies by creating jobs. And therefore, tobacco control policies can hurt overall employment. However, empirical evidence from this policy brief suggests the opposite. In fact, the worldwide decline in employment in tobacco growing and manufacturing has been caused by the tobacco industry itself. Read more about the topic here.
Increases in tobacco taxes that result in significant increases in prices are highly effective in reducing tobacco use. But merely raising taxes is not a guarantee that prices will go up. This policy brief makes the case that the type of the tax and how it is collected can make a significant difference in how a tax increase raises tobacco prices. Read more about the topic here.
Think Tank Partner Research
Partners from Pakistan and the Latin American and Southeastern European regions presented their research to multiple audiences on the economic impacts of tobacco taxation in their respective countries. In November, Red Sur research teams from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Peru and Ecuador presented their research at theLACEA Annual Meeting of Economists in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The next month, research teams from Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia concluded their research and presented to policy makers at national round tables, and aregional conference in Belgrade. Finally, Pakistan think tanks presented their findings at the Annual Conference of the Pakistan Society of Development Economists, attended by multiple stakeholders, including civil society, media, and policy makers. In many of these countries, the think tanks produced estimates of the elasticity of demand for tobacco products and how these behavioral responses affect changes in consumption of tobacco and government revenues when taxes are increased. Some groups analyzed the affects different tax structures have on people in different income groups, and the broader economic impacts on employment and agriculture. For more information, and to see their reports and policy briefs, stay tuned on @Tobacconomics!
Southeastern European think tank partners conference, Belgrade, Serbia
Red Sur research partners at LACEA, Guayaquil, Ecuador
Muhammad Sabir presenting at the Annual Conference of the Pakistan Society of Development Economists, Islamabad, Pakistan
Tobacconomics Team Member Spotlight
Violeta is the newest member of the Tobacconomics team, leading our work in the Southeastern European region. Before joining Tobacconomics, Violeta worked at the World Bank Group as a tax policy economist. Prior to that, she was a a fiscal analyst with the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Serbia. She earned her Ph.D. in economics from Georgia State University. Violeta's research focuses on the macroeconomic and distributional impacts of tax and expenditure policies.
Coming up in 2019...
Illicit Trade Toolkit- applying practical methods for measuring illicittrade
Household Expenditures Survey Toolkit- using household expenditure data to estimate the impacts of tobacco taxation
Based in the Health Policy Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), the Tobacconomics team conducts economic research to shape global tobacco control policies, and we also partner with economic policy think tanks in low- and middle-income countries to build the local evidence base for more effective tobacco taxation policies. UIC is a partner of the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use.