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I was looking at an app on Iphone which allows people to track their meals, and trying to think, how would I build variance of taste into an economics sim ? And the only thing I can think is raw consumer profiles, which this app which stores things online would likely be collecting. But it would be collecting these things and SELLING them. Is there a free place I can say find data samples related to what people eat daily or what forms of entertainment they most frequently consume ? It seems like a very difficult thing to emulate really, but at least I might gain a few insights.

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Econ StackExchange. Please consider mentioning a country whose data you are looking for. $\endgroup$
    – erik
    Nov 1, 2021 at 14:21

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Two sources come to my mind for USA. Both sources, as far as I can remember, are free.

  1. CES - Consumer Expenditure Survey: This has information about expenditures and incomes of consumers across USA at different points of time. You can access the data from BLS https://www.bls.gov/cex/

  2. ATUS - American Time Use Data: This collects the time people spend doing things. You can access this from BLS, https://www.bls.gov/tus/

IPUMS also has access to ATUS, along with MTUS (involving different countries).

Also, you can check this paper; I do not remember if their data is available for free, but it may be helpful to you:

Bajari, Patrick, Denis Nekipelov, Stephen P. Ryan, and Miaoyu Yang. 2015. "Machine Learning Methods for Demand Estimation." American Economic Review, 105 (5): 481-85. DOI: 10.1257/aer.p20151021

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