Cigarette taxes and the master settlement agreement
In 1998, 46 states and the four major tobacco companies entered into the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA), which stipulated that the tobacco companies pay the states $206 billion over the next several years. Mean cigarette excise taxes rose substantially, nearly 90%, between 1998 and 2002. The goal of our empirical analysis is to assess whether the changes in cigarette excise taxes can be attributed to litigation brought by the states and the resulting settlements. Using a panel data difference-in-difference approach, the evidence suggests that litigation increased excise taxes: state cigarette excise taxes were approximately $0.10 higher post-MSA. (JEL H2, I1). © 2006 Western Economic Association International.
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