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.

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

1 Answer 1


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


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.