Documenting the link between poor food access and less healthy product assortment across the u.s.

Lauren Chenarides, Edward C. Jaenicke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This paper, which investigates food access and underserved areas in the U.S., differs from most existing research by explicitly examining food retailers' in-store product availability, a retailing outcome that might exacerbate or mitigate consumer impacts of residing in areas with poor food access. Using detailed retailer scanner data from 2010-2015 and measures of food access, we investigate the relationship between healthy product assortments and food access. Our results consistently show a negative and significant relationship between census tracts with poor food access and healthy product assortments featuring fruits and vegetables. This finding provides rigorous documentation for what other researchers have claimed, namely that consumers who reside in underserved communities and are already burdened with poor food access endure the hardship of facing less healthy assortments of food items.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)434-474
Number of pages41
JournalApplied Economic Perspectives and Policy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019


  • food access
  • product assortment
  • scanner data

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Economics and Econometrics


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