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On the Accuracy of Nielsen Homescan Data

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Author Info

  • Einav, Liran
  • Leibtag, Ephraim S.
  • Nevo, Aviv

Abstract

Researchers use Nielsen Homescan data, which provide detailed food-purchase information from a panel of U.S. households, to address a variety of important research topics. However, some question the credibility of the data since the data are self-recorded and the recording process is time-consuming. Matching purchase records from 2004 Homescan data with data obtained from a large grocery retailer, it is evident that quantities purchased are reported more accurately in Homescan than are prices. Many of the price differences may be driven by the way Nielsen imputes prices: when available, Nielsen uses store-level prices instead of the actual price paid by the household. There are also differences by household type in the tendency to make mistakes that are correlated with demographic variables. However, the fraction of variance explained by the documented recording errors is in line with other research data sets for which cross-validation studies have been conducted.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service in its series Economic Research Report with number 56490.

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Date of creation: Dec 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ags:uersrr:56490

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Related research

Keywords: Nielsen; Homescan; scanner data; validation study; Agricultural and Food Policy; Consumer/Household Economics; Demand and Price Analysis; Institutional and Behavioral Economics;

References

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  1. Jerry Hausman & Ephraim Leibtag, 2006. "Consumer Benefits from Increased Competition in Shopping Outlets: Measuring the Effect of Wal-Mart," CeMMAP working papers CWP06/06, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Liran Einav & Ephraim Leibtag & Aviv Nevo, 2008. "Not-so-Classical Measurement Errors: A Validation Study of Homescan," NBER Working Papers 14436, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Todd, Jessica E. & Mancino, Lisa & Leibtag, Ephraim S. & Tripodo, Christina, 2010. "Methodology Behind the Quarterly Food-at-Home Price Database," Technical Bulletins 97799, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  3. Liran Einav & Ephraim Leibtag & Aviv Nevo, 2010. "Recording discrepancies in Nielsen Homescan data: Are they present and do they matter?," Quantitative Marketing and Economics, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 207-239, June.
  4. Damon, Amy L. & King, Robert P. & Leibtag, Ephraim, 2013. "First of the month effect: Does it apply across food retail channels?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 18-27.
  5. Davis, Chris & Blayney, Don & Yen, Steven & Cooper, Joseph C., 2009. "An analysis of at-home demand for ice cream in the United States," MPRA Paper 24782, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. repec:zwi:journl:v:6:y:2011:i:4:p:335-353 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Leibtag, Ephraim S. & Barker, Catherine & Dutko, Paula, 2010. "How Much Lower Are Prices at Discount Stores? An Examination of Retail Food Prices," Economic Research Report 96767, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  8. Buzby, Jean C. & Hyman, Jeffrey, 2012. "Total and per capita value of food loss in the United States," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 561-570.
  9. Christian Broda & Ephraim Leibtag & David E. Weinstein, 2009. "The Role of Prices in Measuring the Poor's Living Standards," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 77-97, Spring.

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