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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

'Farmers Markets and Food-Borne Illness'

Marc Bellemare:

Farmers Markets and Food-Borne Illness: ... After working on it for almost two years, I am happy to finally be able to circulate my new paper titled “Farmers Markets and Food-Borne Illness,” coauthored with my colleague Rob King and my student Jenny Nguyen, in which we ask whether farmers markets are associated with food-borne illness in a systematic way. ...

In sum, what we find is:

  1. A positive relationship between the number of farmers markets and the number of reported outbreaks of food-borne illness in the average state-year./li>
  2. A positive relationship between the number of farmers markets and the number of reported cases of food-borne illness in the average state-year.
  3. A positive relationship between the number of farmers markets and the number of reported outbreaks of Campylobacter jejuni in the average state-year.
  4. A positive relationship between the number of farmers markets and the number of reported cases of Campylobacter jejuni in the average state-year.
  5. Six dogs that didn’t bark, i.e., no systematic relationship between the number of farmers markets and the number of outbreaks or cases of norovirus, Salmonella enterica, Clostridium perfringens, E. coli, Staphylococcus (i.e., staph), or scombroid food poisoning.
  6. When controlling for the number of farmers markets, there is a negative relationship between the number of farmers markets that accept SNAP and food-borne illness in the average state-year.
  7. AA doubling of the number of farmers markets in the average state-year would be associated with a relatively modest economic cost of about $900,000 in terms of additional cases of food-borne illness.

Of course, correlation is not causation, which is why we spend a great deal of time in the paper discussing the potential threats to causal identification in this context, investigating them, and trying to triangulate our findings with a number of different specifications and estimators. At the end of the day, we are pretty confident in the robustness of our core finding, viz. that there is a positive association between the number of farmers markets and the number of reported outbreaks and cases of food-borne illness. ...

    Posted by on Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at 09:46 AM in Academic Papers, Economics | Permalink  Comments (15)


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