David Agrawal's paper accepted in Journal of Public Economics

Associate Professor of Economics David Agrawal had his paper "Online Shopping Can Redistribute Local Tax Revenue from Urban to Rural America," accepted for publication in the Journal of Public Economics, the top field journal in the area of public finance.
Abstract: What is the effect of e-commerce on the geographic distribution of local sales tax revenues? Using COVID-19 as a shock to online shopping and hand-collected high-frequency data on local sales tax revenue, we document an important shift in the state and local public finance landscape. As e-commerce increases, a destination basis for remote sales taxes results in higher growth in local sales tax collections in smaller, generally more rural jurisdictions. This increase comes at the expense of larger urban retail centers, which previously enjoyed an origin basis for sales tax collections. As households replace in-person commerce with online shopping, sales taxes no longer accrue to urban centers with large concentrations of retail establishments and instead expand the tax base of smaller jurisdictions. State-level reforms that enforce sales compliance generally mitigate the revenue falls in larger jurisdictions and amplify the increases in smaller jurisdictions.