July 1, 1996

Smoking, Insurance, and Social Cost

  • Richard Wagner

    Distinguished Senior Fellow, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics and Economics
  • Robert D. Tollison

    J. Wilson Newman Professor and BB&T Senior Fellow, Clemson University
  • Robert E. McCormick

    Professor of Business and Economics, Clemson University
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Strong political resistance to new taxation has forced supporters of higher taxes to seek alternative justifications for the taking of more money from the public. That incentive, combined with the desire by many policy makers to control the behavior of others, has breathed new life into what used to be called sin taxes that traditionally targeted alcoholic beverages and tobacco products. But those taxes are now called “corrective taxes.” They supposedly compensate for the social costs that private behavior purportedly imposes on the public at large.

Read the article at Regulation.