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On the Accuracy of Nielsen Homescan Data

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Einav, Liran & Leibtag, Ephraim S. & Nevo, Aviv, 2008. "On the Accuracy of Nielsen Homescan Data," Economic Research Report 56490, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uersrr:56490
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/56490
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jerry Hausman & Ephraim Leibtag, 2007. "Consumer benefits from increased competition in shopping outlets: Measuring the effect of Wal-Mart," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(7), pages 1157-1177.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Rahkovsky, Ilya & Snyder, Samantha, 2015. "Food Choices and Store Proximity," Economic Research Report 210316, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    2. 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.
    3. repec:oup:apecpp:v:38:y:2016:i:4:p:00-00. is not listed on IDEAS
    4. 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.
    5. Liran Einav & Ephraim Leibtag & Aviv Nevo, 2010. "Recording discrepancies in Nielsen Homescan data: Are they present and do they matter?," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 207-239, June.
    6. Davis, Christopher G. & Dong, Diansheng & Blayney, Donald P. & Owens, Ashley, 2010. "An Analysis of U.S. Household Dairy Demand," Technical Bulletins 184308, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    7. William Hahn & Hayden Stewart & Donald P. Blayney & Christopher G. Davis, 2016. "Modeling price transmission between farm and retail prices: a soft switches approach," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 47(2), pages 193-203, March.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. repec:bla:econom:v:84:y:2017:i:333:p:34-53 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. repec:zwi:journl:v:6:y:2011:i:4:p:335-353 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. repec:oup:ajagec:v:99:y:2017:i:5:p:1172-1187. is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Griffith, Rachel & Krol, Michal & Smith, Kate, 2015. "Store Brands and the Role of Advertising," CEPR Discussion Papers 10877, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Rachel Griffith & Martin O'Connell & Kate Smith, 2017. "The Importance of Product Reformulation Versus Consumer Choice in Improving Diet Quality," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 84(333), pages 34-53, January.

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