Farmers Markets and Food-Borne Illness*

Research paper by Bellemare M, Nguyen N.

Indexed on: 01 Jun '18Published on: 03 Apr '18Published in: American journal of agricultural economics


Using longitudinal administrative data on all U.S. states and the District of Columbia for the years 2004, 2006, and 2008–2013, we study the relationship between farmers markets and food-borne illness. We find a positive relationship between the number of farmers markets per million individuals and the number per million of reported (i) total outbreaks and cases of food-borne illness, (ii) outbreaks and cases of norovirus, and (iii) outbreaks of campylobacter in the average state-year. Our estimates indicate that doubling the number of farmers markets in the average state-year would be associated with 2.6 additional outbreaks of food-borne illness, 0.8 additional outbreaks of norovirus, and 0.3 additional outbreaks of campylobacter per million, as well as with 34.5 additional total cases of food-borne illness, 22.9 additional cases of norovirus, and 1.5 additional cases of campylobacter per million in the same state-year. Our core results are robust to different specifications as well as to deleting outliers and leverage points.