Free the Period? Evaluating Tampon Tax Reforms Using Household Scanner Data

Publication: Working/Discussion PaperWU Working Paper

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We study price and volume effects of VAT reductions for period products. We exploit varying treatment intensities and timing in several European countries and find that in response to a one percentage point reduction in the VAT, prices decrease by 0.55% in the following 12 months. Pass-through rates range from full pass-through to over-shifting 12 months post policy change, with low-income households benefiting the most. While the average effect on aggregate purchase volumes is statistically zero, low income households’ demand is stimulated. We find evidence that households purchase higher quality products as a result of the tax reform.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherWU Vienna University of Economics and Business
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

Publication series

SeriesDepartment of Economics Working Paper Series

WU Working Paper Series

  • Department of Economics Working Paper Series


  • tax pass-through
  • VAT reduction
  • tampon tax
  • scanner data
  • tax incidence

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