Brian Baugh

College of Business
University of Lincoln - Nebraska

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: University of Nebraska - Lincoln

NBER Working Papers and Publications

September 2018Asymmetric Consumption Response of Households to Positive and Negative Anticipated Cash Flows
with Itzhak Ben-David, Hoonsuk Park, Jonathan A. Parker: w25086
We use account-level data to document that households respond differently to expected transitory cash receipts than to cash payments. Consumers increase consumption spending when they receive tax refunds; however, they do not reduce their spending when they make expected tax payments. The central asymmetry in response and its pattern across liquidity and income levels is consistent with the behavior of rational consumers with liquidity constraints, but this canonical model cannot explain the lack of spending days before arrival of a refund or the lack of spending response to information about taxes around filing.
April 2014Can Taxes Shape an Industry? Evidence from the Implementation of the “Amazon Tax”
with Itzhak Ben-David, Hoonsuk Park: w20052
For years, online retailers have maintained a price advantage over brick-and-mortar retailers by not collecting sales tax at the time of sale. Recently, several states have required that online retailer Amazon collect sales tax during checkout. Using transaction-level data, we document that households living in these states reduced Amazon purchases by 9.4% after sales tax laws were implemented, implying elasticities ranging from –1.2 to –1.4. The effect is more pronounced for large purchases, for which we estimate a reduction of 29.1% in purchases, corresponding to an elasticity of –3.9. Studying competitors in the electronics field, we detect some evidence of substitution toward competing retailers.

Published: BRIAN BAUGH & ITZHAK BEN-DAVID & HOONSUK PARK, 2018. "Can Taxes Shape an Industry? Evidence from the Implementation of the “Amazon Tax”," The Journal of Finance, vol 73(4), pages 1819-1855. citation courtesy of

January 2014Disentangling Financial Constraints, Precautionary Savings, and Myopia: Household Behavior Surrounding Federal Tax Returns
with Itzhak Ben-David, Hoonsuk Park: w19783
We explore household consumption surrounding federal tax returns filings and refunds receipt to test various theories of consumption. Because uncertainty regarding the refund is resolved at filing, precautionary savings theory predicts an increase in consumption at this date. Contrary to this prediction, we find that households generally do not increase consumption at filing. Following the receipt of the refunds, consumption of both durables and nondurables increases dramatically and then decays quickly. Our results show that households, on average, are financially constrained, exhibit myopic behavior, and do not respond to precautionary savings motives.
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