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Food Prices and the Timing of Welfare Payments: A Canadian Study

Georges Tanguay, Gary Hunt and Nicolas Marceau ()

Canadian Public Policy, 2005, vol. 31, issue 2, 145-160

Abstract: This is a study of the relationship between the timing of social welfare payments and the price of food for one neighbourhood in Montreal. Using prices of 31 grocery products over 26 weeks and across seven stores, we obtain two main results. First, we show that the availability of social welfare resources affects grocery prices throughout the month. Second, average grocery prices are lowest during cheque-receipt week and rise by 6.8 percent to 11.72 percent over the remainder of the monthly social welfare cycle. We argue that these results are consistent with social welfare recipients having progressively less resources for transportation over a month and therefore are more reliant on local grocery stores.

Date: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:31:y:2005:i:2:p:145-160