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Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of banning soft drinks in schools on purchases outside of school. We utilize unique household-level and store-level data sources in combination with time-series and cross-sectional variation of state-level regulations in a difference-in-differences (DD) approach. We detect a decrease in the overall trend in sales, but observe this downward trend in households with and without children, as well as in states with and without regulation. Controlling for advertising allows us to further reject that leading brands intensify their advertising efforts and target children to potentially offset their reduced presence at schools. Finally, we find no evidence of substitution effects among possible beverage product alternatives. Our analysis therefore suggests that soft drink bans at school reduce overall soft drink consumption as school age children do not compensate for this limited availability at home.

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