Food Banks and Retail Markups

John D. Lowrey, Timothy J. Richards, Stephen F. Hamilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Food banks play a critical part in the food distribution system. In this paper, we examine the impact of food bank donations on retailer markups using data on donations and store-level productivity. We frame our empirical model of food bank donations and store-level markups as an example of quality-based price discrimination and find that stores that donate more food to the local food bank are able to charge higher markups - 33% higher - after controlling for the well-known endogeneity problems. Our findings suggest that donations are not just charitable gestures by retailers but are in their own self-interests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1027-1055
Number of pages29
JournalEuropean Review of Agricultural Economics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 1 2022


  • D43
  • food banks
  • food retailing
  • L13
  • M31
  • markups
  • price discrimination
  • production economics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics


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