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Shopping Around: How Households Adjusted Food Spending Over the Great Recession

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  • Rachel Griffith
  • Martin O'Connell
  • Kate Smith

Abstract

Over the Great Recession, UK households reduced real food expenditure. We show that they were able to maintain the number of calories that they purchased, and the nutritional quality of these calories, by adjusting their shopping behaviour. We document the mechanisms that households used. We motivate our analysis with a model of shopping behaviour in which households adjust shopping effort and the characteristics of their shopping basket in response to economic shocks. We use detailed longitudinal data and focus on within‐household changes in basket characteristics and proxies for shopping effort.

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  • Rachel Griffith & Martin O'Connell & Kate Smith, 2016. "Shopping Around: How Households Adjusted Food Spending Over the Great Recession," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 83(330), pages 247-280, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:83:y:2016:i:330:p:247-280
    DOI: 10.1111/ecca.12166
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    2. Brenna Ellison & Brandon McFadden & Bradley J. Rickard & Norbert L. W. Wilson, 2021. "Examining Food Purchase Behavior and Food Values During the COVID‐19 Pandemic," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 43(1), pages 58-72, March.
    3. Hasan, Syed & Shakur, Shamim & Breunig, Robert, 2021. "Exchange rates and expenditure of households with foreign-born members: Evidence from Australia," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 188(C), pages 977-997.
    4. Jim Been & Susann Rohwedder & Michael Hurd, 2020. "Does Home Production Replace Consumption Spending? Evidence from Shocks in Housing Wealth in the Great Recession," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 102(1), pages 113-128, March.
    5. Martin O'Connell & Pierre Dubois & Rachel Griffith, 2022. "The Use of Scanner Data for Economics Research," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 14(1), pages 723-745, August.
    6. Lester Lusher & Geoffrey C. Schnorr & Rebecca L.C. Taylor, 2022. "Unemployment Insurance as a Worker Indiscipline Device? Evidence from Scanner Data," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 14(2), pages 285-319, April.
    7. Alena Bičáková & Guido Matias Cortes & Jacopo Mazza, 2021. "Caught in the Cycle: Economic Conditions at Enrolment and Labour Market Outcomes of College Graduates," The Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 131(638), pages 2383-2412.
    8. O’Connell, Martin & Smith, Kate & Stroud, Rebekah, 2022. "The dietary impact of the COVID-19 pandemic," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C).
    9. Rachel Griffith, 2022. "Obesity, Poverty and Public Policy," The Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 132(644), pages 1235-1258.
    10. James Banks & Heidi Karjalainen & Carol Propper, 2020. "Recessions and Health: The Long‐Term Health Consequences of Responses to the Coronavirus," Fiscal Studies, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 41(2), pages 337-344, June.
    11. Jaravel, Xavier & O'Connell, Martin, 2020. "Inflation Spike and Falling Product Variety during the Great Lockdown," CEPR Discussion Papers 14880, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Zeballos, Eliana & Dong, Xiao, 2021. "The Localized Effects of the COVID-19 Recession on Food Sales," 2021 Annual Meeting, August 1-3, Austin, Texas 313996, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    13. Jaravel, Xavier & O'Connell, Martin, 2020. "Real-time price indices: Inflation spike and falling product variety during the Great Lockdown," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 191(C).
    14. Dong, Xiao & Zeballos, Eliana, 2021. "COVID-19 Working Paper: The Effects of COVID-19 on Food Sales," Administrative Publications 327347, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    15. Castiglione, Concetta & Mazzocchi, Mario, 2019. "Ten years of five-a-day policy in the UK: Nutritional outcomes and environmental effects," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 185-194.
    16. Jean Hindriks & Leonardo Madio & Valerio Serse, 2021. "Promotion Ban and Heterogeneity in Retail Prices during the Great Lockdown," CESifo Working Paper Series 9074, CESifo.
    17. Syed Hasan & Nazmun Ratna & Shamim Shakur, 2019. "Exchange rate, remittances and expenditure of foreign-bornhouseholds: evidence from Australia," Discussion Papers 1901, School of Economics and Finance, Massey University, New Zealand.
    18. Berland, Ondine, 2022. "The nutritional and environmental impacts of food consumption: Evidence from increasing gasoline prices," 2022 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Anaheim, California 322433, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    19. Alena Bicakova & Guido Matias Cortes & Jacopo Mazza, 2021. "Make Your Own Luck: The Wage Gains from Starting College in a Bad Economy," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp698, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    20. Eliana Zeballos & Xiao Dong, 2022. "The effect of COVID‐19 on food sales," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 44(4), pages 2131-2144, December.
    21. Giri, Jeeten Krishna & Kumaresan, Talitha, 2021. "The business cycle, health behavior, and chronic disease: A study over Three decades," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 43(C).

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