Abstract: We analyze structural state dependence in brand choice using variation from brand switching during stock-outs caused by hurricanes. We derive a simple test for structural state dependence based on the time-series of choice persistence for households affected by the stock-outs. Using data from the bottled water category, we show demand increases substantially around hurricane events and causes households to purchase different brands. We find that purchase behavior reverts back to its pre-hurricane trajectory immediately after the hurricane and we are not able to reject the null hypothesis of no structural state dependence. We show that our results are not driven by unusual purchases during the hurricane or context-specific purchase behavior.
Work in Progress
The Effects of Grocery Store Closures on Demand for Healthy Food (with Sylvia Hristakeva)
Abstract: We analyze the impact of store closures on purchases of fruits and vegetables using data from US hurricanes and a consumer panel of purchases. We find that short-term store closures result in long-term decreases in purchases of fresh produce, supporting the argument that food accessibility is an important driver of nutritional inequality. This finding aims to complement extant research showing that demand for healthy food is lower in food deserts by exploring how these differences in demand may arise.