Going the Distance: Big Data on Resident Access to Everyday Goods

19 Pages Posted: 20 May 2017

See all articles by Diana Farrell

Diana Farrell

JP Morgan Chase & Co. - JP Morgan Chase Institute

Lindsay Relihan

Independent

Marvin Ward

JP Morgan Chase & Co. - JP Morgan Chase Institute

Date Written: March 23, 2017

Abstract

In this report, we measure the distance between consumers’ homes and the merchants at which they shop. Leveraging over 197 million credit and debit card transactions from more than 581 million de-identified customers in 15 cities, we analyzed credit and debit card transactions in Detroit and New York for the second quarter of each year in the 2013-2016 period. We organize our results into five findings. First, in 2016, residents of Detroit and New York made 71.6 percent and 56.8 percent of their transactions outside of their 20-minute neighborhood, respectively. Second, distances between residents and their chosen merchants dropped in both cities between 2013 and 2016. Third, in 2016, the distance between residents and their chosen merchants was longest for low-income residents and shortest for high-income residents in both cities. Fourth, between 2013 and 2016, the distance between residents and their chosen merchants fell for low-income residents in both Detroit and New York. Fifth, between 2013 and 2016, access to necessities like pharmacies, grocery stores, and non-durable providers improved the most. Overall, we explored the time costs of local, commercial activity, and the data revealed that access to retail is a complex issue that can be better addressed by understanding where and how often people actually shop. We find that significant variation in the distance between residents and their chosen merchants exists across product types, which is critical information for local policymakers and other stakeholders.

Suggested Citation

Farrell, Diana and Relihan, Lindsay and Ward, Marvin, Going the Distance: Big Data on Resident Access to Everyday Goods (March 23, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2966200 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2966200

Diana Farrell

JP Morgan Chase & Co. - JP Morgan Chase Institute ( email )

New York, NY
United States

Lindsay Relihan

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

Marvin Ward (Contact Author)

JP Morgan Chase & Co. - JP Morgan Chase Institute ( email )

New York, NY
United States

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