Buying Less, But Shopping More: Changes In Consumption Patterns During A Crisis
David McKenzie () and
Ernesto Schargrodsky ()
Business School Working Papers from Universidad Torcuato Di Tella
Market research data are utilized to examine the use of changes in shopping behavior as a method of mitigating the effects of the 2002 Argentine economic crisis. Although the total quantity and real value of goods purchased fell during the crisis, consumers are found to be spending more days shopping. This increase in shopping frequency occurs through consumers purchasing lower-quality goods from a wider variety of shopping channels. This paper provides the first estimates of the magnitude of such effects during a recession, and suggests that this increase in shopping frequency can be an important coping mechanism for households. Shopping more often is shown to enable households to seek out lower prices and locate substitutes, allowing a given level of expenditure to buy more goods.
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