Erik James

Erik James
  • Applied Economics Doctoral Student

Contact Information

Research Interests: Public Economics, Health Economics, Urban Economics

Links: Personal Website

Research

Household Spillovers from School Policy: The Impact of the Federal School Nutrition Standards on the Healthfulness of Household Grocery Expenditure

This paper investigates whether the federal school nutrition reforms enacted after the passage of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 had spillover effects onto the healthfulness of student household grocery expenditure. Focusing specifically on the Smart Snacks in Schools regulation and household grocery expenditure on unhealthy snack food, a difference in difference framework is used to compare the relative changes in unhealthy snack expenditure for households in states with and without strong state snack regulations prior to the federal regulation. The results indicate that the federal regulation decreased unhealthy snack expenditure by about 5% after three years for households with a student. This suggests that spillovers from school policy enhance the impact of the policy.

 

Impact of Dollar Stores on Household Shopping Patterns and Nutrition

This paper examines how household shopping trips, food expenditure, and nutrition are impacted by the entry of dollar stores. I find that when a dollar store enters, nearby low-income households are more likely to shop and buy food at dollar stores. In addition, low-income households start consuming less fresh produce, which is not available at dollar stores. This leads to differential negative impacts on nutrition for low-income households, and the impact is twice as large in food deserts. The magnitude of the effect on low-income households in food deserts is 10% of the nutrition-income gap, which contrasts with past findings indicating that the retail environment has only marginal impacts on nutritional inequality.

Teaching

All Courses

  • BEPP2500 - Managerial Economics

    This course will introduce you to "managerial economics" which is the application of microeconomic theory to managerial decision-making. Microeconomic theory is a remarkably useful body of ideas for understanding and analyzing the behavior of individuals and firms in a variety of economic settings. The goal of the course is for you to understand this body of theory well enough so that you can effectively analyze managerial (and other) problems in an economic framework. While this is a "tools" course, we will cover many real-world applications, particularly business applications, so that you can witness the usefulness of these tools and acquire the skills to use them yourself. We will depart from the usual microeconomic theory course by giving more emphasis to prescription: What should a manager do in order to achieve some objective? That course deliverable is to compare with description: Why do firms and consumers act the way they do? The latter will still be quite prominent in this course because only by understanding how other firms and customers behave can a manager determine what is beswt for him or her to do. Strategic interaction is explored both in product markets and auctions. Finally, the challenges created by asymmetric information - both in the market and within the firm - are investigated.

Awards and Honors

  • Morse Award, 2019
  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowshop Program – Honorable Mention, 2018

Knowledge at Wharton

Can Intrapreneurship Help Close the Racial Wealth Gap?

Black founders have long struggled for their place in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, but a new study from Wharton’s Tiantian Yang shows they are thriving in intrapreneurship.Read More

Knowledge @ Wharton - 4/22/2024
CJ Handron, Co-founder of Diamond Kinetics

Wharton experts speak with CJ Handron, co-founder of Diamond Kinetics.Read More

Knowledge @ Wharton - 4/17/2024
The Impact of AI on Financial Literacy | Michael Roberts

Professor Michael Roberts discusses whether generative AI can help improve financial literacy.Read More

Knowledge @ Wharton - 4/16/2024