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Household Food Expenditures across Income Groups: Do Poor Households Spend Differently than Rich Ones?

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  • King, Robert P.
  • Damon, Amy L.
  • Leibtag, Ephraim S.

Abstract

The Life Cycle - Permanent Income Hypotheses (LCPIH) suggests that the timing of an income payment or government transfer should have no effect on the expenditures of the recipient. In this paper we test the LCPIH against a dynamic model of household consumption which predicts clustered food expenditure. We use data from 7,013 households in fifty-two urban and peri-urban markets throughout the United States containing detailed daily expenditure data collected by ACNielsen Homescan for 2003. Specifically, we examine aggregate food expenditure patterns, shopping trip patterns, and expenditure patterns across retail channels over calendar weeks, weekly seven day cycles, and days of the week. Our main finding is that households in the lowest 25 percent of the income distribution that have zero employed people have a significantly higher differenced expenditure level in the beginning of the month and significantly lower differenced expenditure in the last week or weeks of the calendar month, thus rejecting the LCPIH. Further, we find that, in general, households do not use convenience stores as a complementary retail channel to the grocery channel.

Suggested Citation

  • King, Robert P. & Damon, Amy L. & Leibtag, Ephraim S., 2006. "Household Food Expenditures across Income Groups: Do Poor Households Spend Differently than Rich Ones?," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21470, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea06:21470
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.21470
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Melvin Stephens Jr., 2002. "Paycheck Receipt and the Timing of Consumption," NBER Working Papers 9356, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Tullio Jappelli & Jörn-Steffen Pischke & Nicholas S. Souleles, 1998. "Testing For Liquidity Constraints In Euler Equations With Complementary Data Sources," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(2), pages 251-262, May.
    3. Parke E. Wilde & Christine K. Ranney, 2000. "The Monthly Food Stamp Cycle: Shooping Frequency and Food Intake Decisions in an Endogenous Switching Regression Framework," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(1), pages 200-213.
    4. Melvin Stephens Jr., 2003. ""3rd of tha Month": Do Social Security Recipients Smooth Consumption Between Checks?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 406-422, March.
    5. Shapiro, Jesse M., 2005. "Is there a daily discount rate? Evidence from the food stamp nutrition cycle," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 303-325, February.
    6. Huffman, David B. & Barenstein, Matias, 2004. "Riches to Rags Every Month? The Fall in Consumption Expenditures Between Paydays," IZA Discussion Papers 1430, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. repec:fth:pennfi:69 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Wendt, Minh & Kinsey, Jean D. & Kaufman, Phillip R., 2008. "Food Accessibility in the Inner City: What Have We Learned, A Literature Review 1963-2006," Working Papers 37625, University of Minnesota, The Food Industry Center.

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    Keywords

    Consumer/Household Economics;

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