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Shopping around? How households adjusted food spending over the Great Recession

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  • Griffith, Rachel
  • O'Connell, Martin
  • Smith, Kate

Abstract

Over the Great Recession real wages stagnated and unemployment increased. Concurrently, food prices rose sharply, outstripping growth in food expenditure, and leading to a reduction in calories purchased. This has led to concern about rising food poverty. We study British households to assess how they adjusted to changes in the economic environment. We show they switched to cheaper calories; implying food consumption was smoother than expenditure. We use longitudinal data to quantify the way households lowered their per calorie spending, and show they done this in part by increasing shopping effort, and without lowering the nutritional quality of their groceries.

Suggested Citation

  • Griffith, Rachel & O'Connell, Martin & Smith, Kate, 2014. "Shopping around? How households adjusted food spending over the Great Recession," CEPR Discussion Papers 10096, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:10096
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    Cited by:

    1. Alena Bicakova & Guido Matias Cortes & Jacopo Mazza, 2018. "Caught in the Cycle: Economic Conditions at Enrollment and Labor Market Outcomes of College Graduates," Working Paper series 18-32, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
    2. repec:eee:jeborg:v:141:y:2017:i:c:p:210-232 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Stephanie von Hinke & George Leckie, 2017. "Protecting Calorie Intakes against Income Shocks," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 17/684, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    4. repec:bla:jeurec:v:14:y:2016:i:6:p:1253-1286 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Rachel Griffith & Rodrigo Lluberas & Melanie Lührmann, 2016. "Gluttony And Sloth? Calories, Labor Market Activity And The Rise Of Obesity," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 14(6), pages 1253-1286, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    nutrition; opportunity cost of time; shopping behaviour;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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