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Buying Less but Shopping More: The Use of Nonmarket Labor during a Crisis

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  • David McKenzie

    ()

  • Ernesto Schargrodsky

    ()

Abstract

Households allocating time between market and non-market uses should respond to income variations by adjusting the time devoted to shopping search and other home production activities. In this paper, we exploit high-frequency household expenditure data to examine the use of changes in shopping intensity as a method of mitigating the effects of the 2002 Argentine economic crisis. Although the total quantity and real value of goods purchased fell during the crisis, consumers are found to be doing more shopping search. This increase in shopping is shown to enable households to seek out lower prices and locate substitutes, allowing a given level of expenditure to buy more goods. The magnitude and prevalence of these effects suggest that this non-market use of labor can be an important coping strategy for households during a recession.

Suggested Citation

  • David McKenzie & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2011. "Buying Less but Shopping More: The Use of Nonmarket Labor during a Crisis," ECONOMIA JOURNAL, THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION - LACEA, vol. 0(Spring 20), pages 1-43, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000425:008450
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    Cited by:

    1. Irene Brambilla y Romina Tomé, 2014. "Imports and Welfare: Variety Losses of the Argentine Crisis of 2001-2002," Económica, Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, vol. 60, pages 45-75, January-D.
    2. Laurine Martinoty, 2014. "Intra-Household Coping Mechanisms in Hard Times: the Added Worker Effect in the 2001 Argentine Economic Crisis," Post-Print halshs-01076566, HAL.
    3. Arabage, Amanda Cappellazzo & Souza, André Portela Fernandes de, 2015. "Labor earnings dynamics in post-stabilization Brazil," Textos para discussão 390, FGV/EESP - Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    time allocation; non-market labor; crisis mitigation; aggregate shocks;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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