Working Papers

The Geography of Poverty and Nutrition: Food Deserts and Food Choices across the United States

Hunt Allcott, Rebecca Diamond, and Jean-Pierre Dubé

May 10, 2018

In event study designs, researchers find economically small (and mostly statistically insignificant) effects of store entry on healthy eating. While consumers shift their purchases toward new store entrants, these purchases are primarily substituted away from other supermarkets, suggesting that benefits of combating “food deserts” derive primarily from reducing consumers’ travel costs. 

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