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A Distributional Analysis Of The Costs Of Foodborne Illness: Who Ultimately Pays?


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  • Golan, Elise H.
  • Ralston, Katherine L.
  • Frenzen, Paul D.


This paper traces the economic impact of the costs of foodborne illness on the U.S. economy using a Social Accounting Matrix (SAM) framework. Previous estimates of the costs of seven foodborne pathogens are disaggregated by type, and distributed across the population using data from the National Health Interview Survey. Initial income losses resulting from premature death cause a decrease in economic activity. Medical costs, in contrast, result in economic growth, though this growth does not outweigh the total costs of premature death. A SAM accounting of how the costs of illness are diffused through the economy provides useful information for policy makers.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Southern Agricultural Economics Association in its journal Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 30 (1998)
Issue (Month): 01 (July)

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Handle: RePEc:ags:joaaec:15097

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Keywords: Cost of illness; Foodborne illness; Social Accounting Matrix; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety;


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  1. Buzby, Jean C. & Roberts, Tanya & Lin, Chung-Tung Jordan & MacDonald, James M., 1996. "Bacterial Foodborne Disease: Medical Costs and Productivity Losses," Agricultural Economics Reports 33991, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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Cited by:
  1. Oger, Raphaelle & Woods, Timothy A. & Jean-Albert, Pierre & Allan, Daniel, 2001. "Food Safety in the U.S. Fruit and Vegetable Industry: Awareness and Management Practices of Producers in Kentucky," Staff Papers 31981, University of Kentucky, Department of Agricultural Economics.
  2. Frenzen, Paul D. & Buzby, Jean C. & Rasco, Barbara, 2001. "Product Liability And Microbial Foodborne Illness," Agricultural Economics Reports 34059, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  3. Kuchler, Fred & Golan, Elise H., 1999. "Assigning Values To Life: Comparing Methods For Valuing Health Risks," Agricultural Economics Reports 34037, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.


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