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Abstract

This paper explores a puzzling empirical regularity: households pay less for foods as the time since receipt of their last paycheck increases. I leverage randomization with regard to paycheck timing to causally identify the effect of time since paycheck receipt on prices. Estimates of the decline in prices range between 5% and 6% percent, over the course of a month. I investigate several potential explanations for this behavior, including credit constraints and stockpiling. I find evidence that the effect is driven by low-income households and exacerbated by stockpiling behavior.

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