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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Food deserts: The spatial location of grocery retailers in urban areas
by Ware, Brandon Odell, Ph.D., Washington State University, 2013, 133; 3628895
Abstract (Summary)

The objective of this dissertation is to investigate food deserts, develop valid and reliable measures of accessibility to healthy foods, and offer strategies to mitigate the problem. The food we eat is shaped by both social and economic forces. Food systems incorporate everything from environmental conditions, to the communities that grow it, to their paths from farm to table. Thus, the study of food desert is inherently interdisciplinary and requires scholarly flexibility to make sense of it. This dissertation seeks to provide the needed flexibility by drawing from the disciplines of economics, marketing, and statistics.

The first study offers a theoretical analysis that draws from traditional location theory to explore the influences of producer motivations for locating in urban areas. The second study evaluates the spatial accessibility of grocery retailers by examining racial composition, poverty, and income. The chapter outlines a conceptual model of behavior as it flows to preferences, intentions, and behaviors in the process of location choices. A section focuses on the spatial location variation of the retail formats (e.g. food facilities), but a significant portion also addresses consumer behavior. This chapter explores whether this leads to a more equitable distribution of healthy food options.

The third study examines grocery retailer's location with a geographic information system data set to understand the impact of location. It continues the thread of the dissertation with a transportation-costs approach of food deserts that addresses the Maximal Service Area Problem.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: McCluskey, Jill J.
Commitee: Brady, Michael, Joireman, Jeff, McCracken, Vicki, Sage, Jeremy
School: Washington State University
Department: Individual Interdisciplinary
School Location: United States -- Washington
Source: DAI-A 75/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Marketing, Statistics, Economic theory
Keywords: Consumer behavior, Food desert, Grocery retailer, Location decision, Spatial analysis, Urban area
Publication Number: 3628895
ISBN: 978-1-321-05371-5
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