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Sandra Hoffmann

Picture of ERS economist Sandra Hoffmann



Sandra (Sandy) Hoffmann is a senior economist with the Food Economics Division. Her research focuses on food safety, valuation of the health benefits of public policies, and integration of economic analysis and risk assessment. She is recognized for her research on the attribution of foodborne illness to its food sources and on children's environmental health. Sandy served on the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) committee on the Effectiveness of National Biosurveillance Systems. She has advised the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on valuation of children's benefits from environmental health programs.

Current Projects:

  • Food Source Attribution--Estimating the relationship between consumption of different foods and foodborne illness, using FoodNet and HomeScan time series data. As part of a World Health Organization effort, using expert elicitation to estimate pathogen and chemical exposure from foods globally.
  • Lead and Children's Health--Parental roles in family decision-making and estimation of parental willingness to pay to prevent children's loss of IQ or increased risk of attention deficit disorder.
  • Estimation of Cost of Foodborne Illness.


Prior to joining ERS in 2010, Sandy was a Research Fellow at Resources for the Future (2000-2010) and a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1999-2000). She also practiced pesticide and chemical manufacture regulatory law (1986-1989) and served with the U.S. Peace Corps in rural Chile (1980-1982).


Sandy holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, Berkeley and an M.A. in agricultural economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also received a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and her B.S. from Iowa State University.

Professional Affiliations:

Sandy is a member of the Agriculture and Applied Economics Association (AAEA), the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (AERE), the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA), and the International Association for Food Protection (UAFP).

Selected Publications:

Hoffmann, Sandra. "U.S. Food Safety Policy Enters a New Era," USDA, ERS, Amber Waves 9(4):24-29, December 2011.

Hoffmann, Sandra. "Overcoming Barriers to Integrating Economic Analysis into Risk Assessment," Risk Analysis 31(9): 1345-1355, 2011.

Hoffmann, Sandra. "Food Safety Policy and Economics," in Jayson Lusk, Jutta Rossen, and Jayson Shogren (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Consumer Economics, Oxford University Press, 2011.

World Bank. Air pollution in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia report (contributing author), 2011.

Hoffmann, Sandra and Bill Harder. "Food Safety and Risk Governance in Globalized Markets," Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine 20: 5-54, 2010.

Hoffmann, Sandra. "Ensuring Food Safety around the Globe: The Many Roles of Risk Analysis from Risk Ranking to Microbial Risk Assessment," Risk Analysis 30(5): 711-714 and 711-871, 2010.

Hoffmann, Sandra (editor). 2010. "Risk Analysis and Food Safety." Special Issue of Risk Analysis. 30(5): 711-871.

Hoffmann, Sandra and Neal Hooker. "Emerging Issues in Food Safety," Choices 24(2): 4-5, 2009.

Hoffman, Sandra. "Knowing Which Foods Are Making Us Sick," Choices 24 (2): 6-10, 2009.

National Research Council, Committee on Effectiveness of National Biosurveillance Systems: BioWatch and the Public Health System. BioWatch and Public Health Surveillance: Evaluating Systems for Early Detection of Biological Threats, National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2009.

Hoffmann, Sandra. "Since Children Are Not Little Adults-Socially-What's an Environmental Economist to Do?" Duke Environmental Law and Policy Forum 17: 209-232, 2007.

Hoffmann, Sandra, Paul Fischbeck, Alan Krupnick, and Michael McWilliams. "Elicitation from Large, Heterogeneous Expert Panels: Using Multiple Uncertainty Measures to Characterize Information Quality for Decision Analysis," Decision Analysis 4(2): 91-109, 2007.

Hoffmann, Sandra, Paul Fischbeck, Alan Krupnick, and Michael McWilliams. "Using Expert Elicitation to Link Foodborne Illnesses in the U.S. to Food," Journal of Food Protection 70(5): 1220-11229, 2007.

World Bank. Cost of Pollution in China: Economic Estimates of Physical Damages (contributing author), 2007.

Goodhue, Rachael E. and Sandra Hoffmann. "Reading the Fine Print in Agricultural Contracts: Conventional Contract Clauses, Risks and Returns," American Journal of Agricultural Economics 88(5): 1237-1243, 2006.

Hoffmann, Sandra, James Boyd, and Eleanor McCormick. "Taxing Nutrient Loads," Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 61(5): 142A-147A, 2006.

Hoffmann, Sandra, Alan Krupnick and Wictor Adamowicz. "Uncertainty in Valuing Benefits to Children from Environmental Health Policy," in Economic Valuation of Environmental Health Risks to Children, OECD Publishing, Paris, France, 2006.

Dharmapala, Dhammika, and Sandra Hoffmann. "Bilateral Accidents with Intrinsically Interdependent Costs of Precaution," Journal of Legal Studies 34(1): 239-272, 2005.

Hoffmann, Sandra and Michael Taylor (eds.). Toward Safer Food: Perspectives on Risk and Priority Setting, Resources for the Future Press, Washington, D.C., 2005.

Hoffmann, Sandra. "Risk-Based Decision-making for Food Safety: Lessons from Environmental Policy," in Toward Safer Food: Perspectives on Risk and Priority Setting, Sandra Hoffmann and Michael Taylor (eds.), Resources for the Future Press, Washington, D.C., 2005.

Berck, Peter, Chris Costello, Louise Fortmann and Sandra Hoffmann. "Poverty and Employment in Forest-dependent Counties," Forest Science 49(5): 1-15, 2003.

Fischer, Carolyn, Sandra Hoffmann, and Yutaka Yoshino. "Multilateral Trade Agreements and Market-Based Environmental Policies," in Critical Issues in International Environmental Taxation: International and Comparative Perspectives," Janet Milne, Kurt Deketelaere, Larry Kreiser, Hope Ashiabor (eds.), Richmond Law and Tax Ltd., Richmond, UK, 2003.

Berck, Peter and Sandra Hoffmann. "Assessing the Employment Impacts of Environmental Policy," Environmental and Resource Economics 22: 133-56, 2002.

Taylor, Michael and Sandra Hoffmann. "Redesigning Food Safety," Issues in Science and Technology 17(4): 26-30, 2001.

Hoffmann, Sandra, Sherman Robinson, and Shankar Subramanian. "Defense Cuts and the California Recession: Computable General Equilibrium Models and Interstate Factor Mobility," Journal of Regional Science 36(4): 571-95, 1996.

Last updated: Tuesday, November 17, 2015

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