Works in Progress

Impact of Dollar Stores on Household Shopping Patterns and Nutrition

This paper examines how household shopping trips, food expenditure, and nutrition are impacted by the entry of dollar stores. I use an event study approach with food retailer location data from Nielsen TDLinx and the household food expenditure from the IRI Consumer Panel dataset. I find that when a dollar store enters a household’s zip, households shift food expenditure to dollar stores from other food retail channels, with larger effects for low-income, low-access, and non-metro county households. Households shift food spending away from perishable product groups with limited offerings at the dollar store like dairy and meat, but by a relatively small amount. I find small impacts of dollar store entry on nutrition, particularly for households living in low-access areas. These effects are about 0.03 standard deviations, or about 5% of the nutrition-income gap, and are driven by decreases in dark greens, legumes, protein, and healthy fat and increases in refined grain. This suggests that household store choice could have an important role in food access and nutrition.

Using Tags to Vary Benefit Program Application Costs: The Case of SNAP and Food Bank Application Assistance Programs

Retailer SNAP Adoption and Household Expenditure Patterns with Anne Byrne, Xiao Dong, Jessie Handbury, and Katherine Meckel

Household Spillovers from School Policy: The Impact of the Federal School Nutrition Standards on the Healthfulness of Household Grocery Expenditure

This paper investigates whether the federal school nutrition reforms enacted after the passage of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 had spillover effects onto the healthfulness of student household grocery expenditure. Focusing specifically on the Smart Snacks in Schools regulation and household grocery expenditure on unhealthy snack food, a difference in difference framework is used to compare the relative changes in unhealthy snack expenditure for households in states with and without strong state snack regulations prior to the federal regulation. The results indicate that the federal regulation decreased unhealthy snack expenditure by about 5% after three years for households with a student. This suggests that spillovers from school policy enhance the impact of the policy.

Projects I've Contributed To

School Food Policy Affects Everyone: Retail Responses to the National School Lunch Program: Jessie Handbury and Sarah Moshary

Health Care Hotspotting: A Randomized, Controlled Trial: Amy Finkelstein, Annetta Zhou, Sarah Taubman, and Joseph Doyle (New England Journal of Medicine, 2020 382(2): 152-162.)