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The roles of food prices and food access in determining food purchases of low-income households

Author

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  • Lin, Biing-Hwan
  • Ver Ploeg, Michele
  • Kasteridis, Panagiotis
  • Yen, Steven T.

Abstract

A growing literature suggests that limited access to full-service grocery stores may be linked to poor diets, obesity, and other diet-related diseases. Food prices are likely to be as much of a factor in low-income consumers’ food purchase decisions as food store access is, but few studies consider the roles of prices and food access simultaneously. We incorporate supermarket access into a utility-theoretic censored demand system for 13 food groups among households that receive the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in the U.S. The demand system is estimated with a Bayesian procedure which otherwise would have been cumbersome with the classical approach. Results suggest that prices are significant determinants of food purchases, but supermarket access has limited influence. Improving food choices, diet, and health may require addressing both accessibility and affordability.

Suggested Citation

  • Lin, Biing-Hwan & Ver Ploeg, Michele & Kasteridis, Panagiotis & Yen, Steven T., 2014. "The roles of food prices and food access in determining food purchases of low-income households," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 938-952.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jpolmo:v:36:y:2014:i:5:p:938-952
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpolmod.2014.07.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Zhang, Jun & Yen, Steven T., 2017. "Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and food insecurity among families with children," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 52-64.
    2. Ver Ploeg, Michele & Larimore, Elizabeth & Wilde, Parke E., 2017. "The Influence of Food Store Access on Grocery Shopping and Food Spending," Economic Information Bulletin 264600, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    3. Rahkovsky, Ilya & Snyder, Samantha, 2015. "Food Choices and Store Proximity," Economic Research Report 210316, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    4. Karnik, Harshada & Peterson, Hikaru Hanawa, 2018. "Impact of point of sales nutritional labels on food purchase: evidence from the rural Midwest," 2018 Annual Meeting, August 5-7, Washington, D.C. 273898, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Food access; Censoring; Demand system; National Food Stamp Program Survey;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness

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