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

Aspinall, W., R. Cooke, A. Havelaar, S.A. Hoffmann, and T. Hald. 2016. “Evaluation of a Performance-Based Expert Elicitation:  WHO Global Attribution of Foodborne Diseases,” PLOS ONE, March.

World Health Organization, Foodborne Epidemiology Reference Group, Source Attribution Task Force. 2016. “Research Synthesis Methods in an Age of Globalized Risks: Lessons from the Global Burden of Foodborne Disease Expert Elicitation,” Risk Analysis 36(2):191-202.

Hald, T., W. Aspinall, B. Devleesschauwer, R. Cooke, T. Corrigan, A.H. Havelaar, H.J. Gibb, P.R. Torgerson, M.D. Kirk, F.J. Angulo, R.J. Lake, N. Speybroeck, S.A. Hoffmann. 2016. “World Health Organization Estimates of the Relative Contributions of Food to the Burden of Disease Due to Selected Foodborne Hazards: A Structured Expert Elicitation,” PLOS ONE, January.

Batz, M.B., S.A. Hoffmann, J.G. Morris Jr. 2014. “Disease-Outcome Trees, EQ-5D Scores, and Estimated Annual Losses of Quality-Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) Due to 14 Foodborne Pathogens in the United States,” Foodborne Pathogen and Disease 11(5):395-402.

Hoffmann, S.A., Q. Ping, A. Krupnick, S. Lodoysamba, B. Burmaa, A. Enkhjargal, B. Suvd. 2012. “The Willingness to Pay for Mortality Risk Reductions in Mongolia,” Resource and Energy Economics 34(4):493-513.

Hoffmann, S.A., M. Batz, J.G. Morris Jr. 2012. “Annual Cost of Illness and Quality-Adjusted Life Year Losses in the United States Due to 14 Foodborne Pathogens,” Journal of Food Protection 75(7): 1291-1302.

Batz, M., S. Hoffmann, J.G. Morris Jr. 2012. “Ranking the Disease Burden of 14 Pathogens in Food Sources in the United States Using Attribution Data from Outbreak Investigations and Expert Elicitation,” Journal of Food Protection 75(7):1270-77.

Hoffmann, S.A. 2011. "U.S. Food Safety Policy Enters a New Era," Amber Waves, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, December.

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

Hoffmann, S.A. 2011. "Food Safety Policy and Economics," in Oxford Handbook of Consumer Economics, J. Lusk, J. Rossen, and J. Shogren, eds. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Hoffmann, S.A. (contributing author), et al. 2011. “Air Quality Analysis of Ulaanbaatar Improving Air Quality to Reduce Health Impacts,” The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, The World Bank.

Hoffmann, S.A., and W. Harder. 2012. "Food Safety and Risk Governance in Globalized Markets," Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine 20(1):5-54.

Hoffmann, S.A. 2010. "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.

S.A. Hoffmann, ed. 2010. "Risk Analysis and Food Safety," Risk Analysis special issue, 30(5):711-871.

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

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

Hoffmann, S.A. (committee member), et al. 2009. BioWatch and Public Health Surveillance: Evaluating Systems for Early Detection of Biological Threats, National Research Council, Committee on Effectiveness of National Biosurveillance Systems: BioWatch and the Public Health System, Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

Hoffmann, S.A. 2007. "Since Children are not Little Adults—Socially—What’s an Environmental Economist to do?" Duke Environmental Law & Policy Forum 17(2):209-232.

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

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

Hoffmann, S. (contributing author), et al. 2007. Cost of Pollution in China: Economic Estimates of Physical Damages, Rural Development, Natural Resources and Environment Management Unit, East Asia and Pacific Region, The World Bank, Washington, DC.

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

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

Hoffmann, S.A., A. Krupnick, and W. Adamowicz. 2006. "Uncertainty in Valuing Benefits to Children from Environmental Health Policy," in Economic Valuation of Environmental Health Risks to Children. Paris, France: OECD Publishing.

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

S.A. Hoffmann, and M. Taylor, eds. 2005. Toward Safer Food: Perspectives on Risk and Priority Setting. Washington, DC: Resources for the Future Press.

Hoffmann, S.A. 2005. "Risk-Based Decision-making for Food Safety: Lessons from Environmental Policy," in Toward Safer Food: Perspectives on Risk and Priority Setting, S.A. Hoffmann, and M. Taylor, eds. Washington, DC: Resources for the Future Press.

Berck, P., C. Costello, L. Fortmann, and S.A. Hoffmann. 2003. "Poverty and Employment in Forest-dependent Counties," Forest Science 49(5):1-15.

Fischer, C., S.A. Hoffmann, and Y. Yoshino. 2003. "Multilateral Trade Agreements and Market-Based Environmental Policies," in Critical Issues in International Environmental Taxation: International and Comparative Perspectives, J. Milne, K. Deketelaere, L. Kreiser, and H. Ashiabor, eds. Richmond, UK: Richmond Law and Tax Ltd.

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

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

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