Skip to main content Accessibility help

A Distributional Analysis of the Costs of Foodborne Illness: Who Ultimately Pays?

  • Elise H. Golan (a1), Katherine L. Ralston (a1) and Paul D. Frenzen (a1)


This paper traces the economic impact of the costs of foodborne illness on the U.S. economy using a Social Accounting Matrix (SAM) framework. Previous estimates of the costs of seven foodborne pathogens are disaggregated by type, and distributed across the population using data from the National Health Interview Survey. Initial income losses resulting from premature death cause a decrease in economic activity. Medical costs, in contrast, result in economic growth, though this growth does not outweigh the total costs of premature death. A SAM accounting of how the costs of illness are diffused through the economy provides useful information for policy makers.



Hide All
Bean, J.A., and Hoffman, K.L.. “Covariances for Estimated Totals When Comparing Between Years.” Vital and Health Statistics, Series 2, No. 114. National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville MD, 1992.
Benson, V., and Marano, M.A.. “Current Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, 1993.” Vital and Health Statistics, Series 10, No. 190. National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville MD, 1994.
Bloom, B., Simpson, G., Cohen, R.A., and Parsons, P.E.. “ Access to Health Care, Part 2: Working Age Adults.” Vital and Health Statistics, Series 10, No. 197. National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville MD, 1997.
Buzby, J.C., and Roberts, T.. “ERS Estimates of U.S.Foodborne Disease Costs.” USDA, Economic Research Service. Food Rev. (May-August 1995):3742.
Buzby, J.C., Roberts, T., Lin, C.-T.J., and MacDonald, J.. “Bacterial Foodborne Disease: Medical Costs and Productivity Losses.” Pub. No. AER 741, USDA/ERS, Food and Consumer Economics Div., Washington DC, August 1996.
Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST). “Foodborne Pathogens: Risks and Consequences.” CAST Task Force Rep. No. 122, Washington DC, September 1994.
Garthright, W.E., Archer, D.L., and Kvemberg, J.E.. “Estimates of the Incidence and Costs of Intestinal Infectious Diseases in the United States.” Public Health Reports 103(1988):107-15.
Hanson, K., Vogel, S.J., and Golan, E.H.. “A Computable General Equilibrium Framework for Analyzing Welfare Reform.” USDA/ERS, Food and Rural Economics Div., Washington DC, forthcoming 1998.
Landefeld, J.S., and Seskin, E.P.. “The Economic Value of Life: Linking Theory to Practice.” Amer. J. Public Health 6(1982):555-66.
Lutz, E., ed.Toward Improved Accounting for the Environment. Washington DC: World Bank, 1992.
National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). Public Use Tape Documentation, Part III: Medical Coding Manual and Short Index. NCHS: Hyattsville MD, 1990.
Paulin, G.D., and Weber, W.D.. “The Effects of Health Insurance on Consumer Spending.” Monthly Labor Rev. 118(1995):3454.
Roberts, T, Murrel, K.D., and Marks, S.. “Economic Losses Caused by Foodborne Parasistic Diseases.” Parasitology Today 10(1994):419-23.
Steahr, T.E.Foodborne Illness in the United States: Geographic and Demographic Patterns.” Internat. J. Environ. Health Res. 4(1994):183-95.
U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis. “The Input-Output Structure of the U.S. Economy, 1977.” Survey of Current Business 64,5(May 1984):4284.



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed