Ephraim Leibtag

Assistant Administrator
Google Scholar profile


Ephraim Leibtag is Assistant Administrator of the Economic Research Service. He currently manages the agency's Staff Analysis Program, tracks agency metrics, output, and impacts, and represents the agency in various Federal working groups and committees. He previously served as Deputy Director for Research and Product Coordinator in ERS's Food Economics Division where he was responsible for directing the research program of the Division as well as oversight of all publications, briefings, and presentations of Division staff. His personal research has covered retail food prices and the dynamics of retail food markets. His specific research interests have included forecasting and analyzing trends in retail food prices, estimating the impact of changes in the retail food environment on consumers, and modeling the pass-through of input cost changes to wholesale and retail prices. Ephraim's work has been used in presentations to government officials, policy analysts, the research community, and other public audiences. He has also been the subject of television, radio, newspaper, and magazine interviews on retail food price trends.


Ph.D. Economics, University of Maryland at College Park, 2002. M.A. Economics, University of Maryland at College Park, 1998. B.A. Economics, Yeshiva University, 1996.

Selected Publications

Leibtag, E. "The 2010 Retail Food Price Outlook: The Impact of Commodity and Farm Price Changes on Retail Food Prices," presented at the Agricultural Outlook Forum Sustainable Agriculture: The Key to Health & Prosperity, Washington, DC, February.

Leibtag, E. 2009. "How Much and How Quick? Pass Through of Commodity and Input Cost Changes to Retail Food Prices," American Journal of Agricultural Economics 91:1462-67.

Berck, P., E. Leibtag, A. Solis, and S. Villas-Boas. 2009. "Patterns of Pass-Through of Commodity Price Shocks to Retail Prices," American Journal of Agricultural Economics 91:1456-61.

Einav, L., E. Leibtag, and A. Nevo. 2009. "Recording Discrepancies in Nielsen Homescan Data: Are They Present and Do They Matter?" Quantitative Marketing and Economics 7(4), December.

Zhen, C., J. Taylor, M. Muth, and E. Leibtag. 2009. "Understanding Differences in Self-Reported Expenditures between Household Scanner Data and Diary Survey Data: A Comparison of Homescan and Consumer Expenditure Survey," Review of Agricultural Economics 31(3):470-92, Fall.

Griffith, R., E. Leibtag, A. Leicester, and A. Nevo. 2009. "Consumer Shopping Behavior: How Much Do Consumers Save?" Journal of Economic Perspectives 23(2):99-120, Spring.

Broda, C., E. Leibtag, and D. Weinstein. 2009. "The Role of Prices in Measuring the Poor's Living Standards," Journal of Economic Perspectives 23(2):77-97, Spring.

Leibtag, E. 2009. "Outlook for U.S. Retail Food Prices and Inflation in 2009," presented at the Agricultural Outlook Forum Global Agriculture & Rural America in Transition, Washington, DC, February.

Leibtag, E. 2008. "Corn Prices Near Record High, But What About Food Costs?" Amber Waves, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, February.

Hausman, J., and E. Leibtag. 2007. "Consumer Benefits from Increased Competition in Shopping Outlets: Measuring the Effect of Wal-Mart," Journal of Applied Econometrics 22(7):1157-77, December.

Leibtag, E. 2007. "Coffee Bean Price Changes Pass Through to Grocery Shelves," Amber Waves, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, April.

Leibtag, E. 2006. The Impact of Big-Box Stores on Retail Food Prices and the Consumer Price Index, ERR-33, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, December.

Nord, M., and E. Leibtag. 2005. "Is the Cost of Enough Food Lower in Rural Areas?" Review of Regional Studies 35(3), Winter.

Leibtag, E. 2004. "CPI Bias from Supercenters: Does the BLS Know that Wal-Mart Exists?" presented at the NBER/CRIW Conference on Price Index Concepts and Measurements, Vancouver, Canada, June.

Leibtag, E. 2003. "Exploring Food Purchase Behavior of Low-Income Households: How Do They Economize?" Current Issues in Economics of Food Markets, AIB-747-07, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, June.

Leibtag, E. 2002. "Determinants of Retail Price Margins and Quality Adjustment of Retail Price Indices," presented at the Center for Economic Studies Seminar Series, U.S. Census Bureau, February.

Leibtag, E. 2001. "Economizing Practices of Lower Income Households: How Differences in Income Impact Food Purchases," presented at the ERS Summer Intern Series, August.