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The Effect of Unemployment on Food Spending and Adequacy: Evidence from Coronavirus‐Induced Firm Closures

Brandon Restrepo, Matthew Rabbitt () and Christian A. Gregory

Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, 2021, vol. 43, issue 1, 185-204

Abstract: We estimate the impact of involuntary unemployment following employer shutdowns during the COVID‐19 pandemic on American households' past‐week food expenditures, free food receipt, and food sufficiency, as well as confidence about next month's food adequacy. Over April to June 2020, compared with households containing employed respondents, households with respondents who lost their jobs due to coronavirus‐induced firm closures spent 15% less on food, were 36% more likely receive free food, were 10% less likely to have enough food to eat, and were 21% less likely to report at least moderate confidence in their future ability to afford needed foods. JEL CLASSIFICATION I12; J21; J63

Date: 2021
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Handle: RePEc:wly:apecpp:v:43:y:2021:i:1:p:185-204