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Empirical evidence on the formation of habits, self-control and non-separabilities in food choices

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "FOODHABITS" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.

Institute for Fiscal Studies 

Organization address
address: Ridgmount Street 7
city: London
postcode: WC1E 7AE

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Project website
 Total cost 994˙772 €
 EC max contribution 994˙772 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2015-AdG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-09-01   to  2020-12-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    Institute for Fiscal Studies UK (London) coordinator 994˙772.00


 Project objective

The proposed research aims to improve our understanding of individual choices over which foods to purchase. The research aims to make fundamental contributions to models of choice and preference formation, and the outputs will inform the development of policy interventions that seek to improve nutritional outcomes. Our particular interest will be to better understand: (i) the importance of the foods available at home in childhood in influencing choices that young adults make over which foods to eat, (ii) the relevance of temptation and self-control in explaining poor nutritional food choices, and the ways that advertising might influence these behaviours, and (iii) the important interactions that exist between the ways that people spend their time (for example work and physical activity) and the food choices that they make and how this determines nutritional outcomes.

A proper understanding of the way that preferences are formed, and the ways that they might be influenced, is key to the design of effective public policy. The food market is a good place to study these questions for a number of reasons. First, people make decisions with high frequency and in different economic conditions, which helps provide variation needed for identification of key parameters of interest. Second, we observe the same individuals making choices both for immediate consumption and for future consumption, which will also help us with identification. Third, the food industry is of considerable policy interest. People in developed countries are getting fatter at an alarming rate. To the extent that people do not take account of the effects of this on themselves in the future and on others then they are making suboptimal decisions; they and society could potentially be made better off by policy intervention, but it is important that we have a good understanding of what impact these interventions are likely to have.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2017 Laurens Cherchye, Bram De Rock, Rachel Griffith, Martin O\'Connell, Kate Smith, Frederic Vermeulen
A new year, a new you? Heterogeneity and self-control in food purchases
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
IZA Discussion Paper No. 11205 2020-02-12
2019 Pierre Dubois, Rachel Griffith and Martin O\'Connell
How well targeted are soda taxes?
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
CEPR Working Paper No. 12484 2020-02-12
2019 Rachel Griffith, Martin O’Connell, Kate Smith
Tax design in the alcohol market
published pages: 20-35, ISSN: 0047-2727, DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2018.12.005
Journal of Public Economics 172 2020-02-12
2017 Gregory S. Crawford, Rachel Griffith, Alessandro Iaria
Demand Estimation with Unobserved Choice Set Heterogeneity
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
CEPR Discussion Paper No. 11675 2020-02-12
2017 Pierre Dubois, Rachel Griffith, Martin O’Connell
The Effects of Banning Advertising in Junk Food Markets
published pages: 396-436, ISSN: 0034-6527, DOI: 10.1093/restud/rdx025
The Review of Economic Studies 85/1 2020-02-12
2017 Rachel Griffith, Martin O\'Connell, Kate Smith
Tax design in the alcohol market
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI: 10.1920/wp.ifs.2017.w1728
IFS Working Paper W17/28 2020-02-12
2018 Rachel Griffith, Stephanie von Hinke, Sarah Smith
Getting a healthy start: The effectiveness of targeted benefits for improving dietary choices
published pages: 176-187, ISSN: 0167-6296, DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2018.02.009
Journal of Health Economics 58 2020-02-12
2017 Rachel Griffith, Martin O\'Connell and Kate Smith
Design of optimal corrective taxes in the alcohol market
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI: 10.1920/wp.ifs.2017.1702
IFS Working Paper W17/02 2020-02-12

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