Do the Poor Pay More for Food? An Analysis of Grocery Store Availability and Food Price Disparities

Journal of Consumer Affairs, Vol. 33, No. 2, p. 276, 1999

21 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2012

See all articles by Chanjin Chung

Chanjin Chung

Cornell University - Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management

Samuel Myers

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs

Date Written: 1999

Abstract

Do the poor pay more for food? To answer this question, this study was conducted to provide an empirical analysis of grocery store access and prices across inner city and suburban communities within the Minneapolis and St. Paul metropolitan area. The comparison among different types of grocers and geographic areas is drawn from a survey of approximately fifty grocery items for fifty-five stores. Results indicate that the poor pay only slightly more in the Twin Cities grocery market. More significantly, those who shop in non-chain stores pay a significant premium, and the poor have less access to chain stores. This study reveals that the biggest factor contributing to higher grocery costs in poor neighborhoods is that large chain stores, where prices tend to be lower, are not located in these neighborhoods.

Keywords: Food, poverty, disparity

Suggested Citation

Chung, Chanjin and Myers, Samuel, Do the Poor Pay More for Food? An Analysis of Grocery Store Availability and Food Price Disparities (1999). Journal of Consumer Affairs, Vol. 33, No. 2, p. 276, 1999. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2026583

Chanjin Chung

Cornell University - Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management ( email )

Ithaca, NY
United States

Samuel Myers (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs ( email )

301 19th Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

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