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Are Prices Higher For the Poor in New York City?


  • Lashawn Richburg Hayes

    (Princeton University)


Despite earlier evidence to the contrary, recent inquiries appear to reach a consensus that the poor pay more for food. However, these studies utilize samples drawn on the basis of prior knowledge of unfair pricing strategies, proximity of volunteer surveyors, or other non-random methods. This paper revisits the issue of price discrimination by analyzing price data collected using a stratified, random sample design to answer the question of whether prices are higher in poor, urban neighborhoods. Contrary to the recent literature, I find that market prices in poor neighborhoods are not higher than those in more affluent areas.

Suggested Citation

  • Lashawn Richburg Hayes, 1999. "Are Prices Higher For the Poor in New York City?," Working Papers 802, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  • Handle: RePEc:pri:indrel:423

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    Cited by:

    1. Jay Bhattacharya & Janet Currie, 2001. "Youths at Nutrition Risk: Malnourished or Misnourished?," NBER Chapters,in: Risky Behavior among Youths: An Economic Analysis, pages 483-522 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item


    imperfect competition; price differential; supermarket; urban poor;

    JEL classification:

    • N84 - Economic History - - Micro-Business History - - - Europe: 1913-
    • N85 - Economic History - - Micro-Business History - - - Asia including Middle East
    • N86 - Economic History - - Micro-Business History - - - Latin America; Caribbean


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