Projects Funded for Zhimin Li


Trade and Food Grocery Shopping Across the U.S.

Thibault Fally and Zhimin Li


Specific Objectives of the Project
Examine consumption choices of US consumers for food products from California versus products from other states and countries, and how trade costs and income affect these choices, using home and store scanner data.

Project Report/Summary of Results
Relative to our initial proposal, we have worked until now on a simpler way to approximate the location of production using the distribution of sales across counties and states. Our method can be applied to a wide range of product, except those with high import penetration ratios.
• Thus, we are focusing on goods that are mainly produced in the US, focusing on the geography of sales and prices within the US. Most of our preliminary results focus on dairy products.
• Our method works well for medium-sized producers, but not as well for the largest producers. To our surprise, we found that sales by the largest producers are geographically very dispersed (for the largest producers, we will manually search for the actual location(s) of production).
• Based on our estimate of the location of production, we then examine how prices and sales vary with distance (current work in progress).
• We also examine within-US trade across households. We find that richer households tend to purchase products that are distributed more widely, across regions and distributors.