Consumers' time pressures and preferences for convenience products play important roles in Americans' diet-quality choices, which can be partially summarized by two stylized facts: (1) Time pressures and time constraints are strongly linked to poorer diet quality; and (2) Convenience foods are more expensive and less healthy than non-convenience foods. While the empirical links between time and diet quality and between convenience attributes and health are both well established, previous research has not documented the behavioral mechanisms that govern unhealthy food choices under time scarcity nor the policy implications of this behavior.By analyzing data from household-level food purchases and lab-based experiments, the proposed research seeks both to identify the willingness-to-pay differences for health and convenience product attributes across a variety of healthy/convenience products categories and to investigate the behavioral mechanisms that affect consumers' food choices under time scarcity. Our project has four specific research objectives:Investigate the impact of time scarcity on heterogeneous households' food choices and the trade-off between time and healthfulness through reduced-form and structural analysis of consumer-level food-purchase data.Identify potential channels or mechanisms through which time scarcity may affect the healthfulness of households' food choices, and test these mechanisms using lab-based economic behavior experiments.Assess consumer's willingness to pay for time convenience, healthfulness, and their trade-offs, and compare results obtained from both experimental and food-purchase data.For alternative behavioral mechanisms that link time scarcity to food choices, identify and evaluate the effectiveness of various policies aimed at improving the healthfulness of food choices.
|Effective start/end date
|1/1/21 → 12/31/23
- National Institute of Food and Agriculture: $423,316.00