Food Labeling and (Mis)Information: Evidence from the Chilean Industry
2017 CSS Fellowship
This project studies how the introduction of a nation-wide regulatory label based on the nutritional content of food products sold in supermarkets affects both the bundle of products demanded by consumers as well as the nutritional composition of food offered by companies. By looking at both demand and supply responses, this project studies the general equilibrium effects of information-based regulations intended to reduce obesity, contributing to our understanding of both public health and economic behavior. To do so, we take advantage of a unique, large and highly-detailed dataset containing all transactions and purchases for any food item sold in each retail store belonging to Walmart in Chile during the last 4 years. We are also collecting an additional dataset detailing the nutritional composition of each listed food item. By combining reduced form analysis techniques and a general equilibrium model of demand and supply for nutritional content in food we quantify the causal impact of the regulation and understand its overall welfare consequences.