Sandra Hoffmann

Sandra Hoffmann

Senior Economist


Sandra (Sandy) Hoffmann is a senior economist with USDA's Economic Research Service, Food Economics Division, Diet, Health, and Safety Economics Branch. 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 cost of foodborne illness, attribution of foodborne illness to its food sources, and children's environmental health. Sandy served on the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) committee on the Effectiveness of National Biosurveillance Systems. She was a commissioned scientist on the World Health Organization’s Global Burden of Foodborne Disease Initiative. Sandy has served on advisory panels to the UK Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Australia New Zealand on health valuation. She has also 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. She serves on the board of the Society for Risk Analysis and on the editorial board of the Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics.

Current Projects:

  • Cost of Foodborne Illness in the U.S.—Updating ERS's Cost Estimates of Foodborne Illnesses data product.
  • Food Source Attribution—Can time series analysis be used to estimate linkages between food consumption and foodborne disease?
  • Age and the Cost of Foodborne Illnesses in the U.S.
  • Safety of U.S. Food Imports—Evaluating capacity in the third party certification industry
  • Valuing Food Safety Investments—Do consumers value having confidence in the safety of the food supply?
  • Global Food Safety—How changes in income and food prices could affect the global burden of foodborne disease; and estimating the social cost of deaths from foodborne disease globally.


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 International Association for Food Protection (IAFP), the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA), the Society for Benefit Cost Analysis (SBCA), and the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (AERE).

Selected Publications

Hoffmann, S., W. Aspinall, R. Cooke, T. Corrigan, A. Havelaar, H. Gibb, B. Devleesschauwer, P. Torgerson, M. Kirk, F. Angulo, R. Lake, N. Speyboec, and T. Hald. 2017. "Attribution of Major Foodborne Diseases to Specific Food Exposures for Use in Assessing the Global Burden of Foodborne Diseases: Results from Coordinated Expert Elicitations in 14 WHO Subregions," Plos ONE, 12(9), p.e0183641.

Hoffmann, S., A. Krupnick, and Q. Ping. 2017. "Building a Set of Internationally Comparable VSL Studies: Estimates of Chinese Willingness to Pay to Reduce Mortality Risk," Journal of Benefit Cost Analysis, 8(2): 251-289.

S. Hoffmann and E. Scallan. 2017. "Epidemiology, Cost and Risk Analysis of Foodborne Disease," in Foodborne Diseases, C. Dodd, T. Aldsworth, and R. Stein (eds.), 3rd ed., Elsevier.

F. Gale and S. Hoffmann. 2016. "Lessons for China from U.S. Food Safety History," in Food Safety in China, J. Jen and J. Chen (eds.), China Scientific Press, Beijing (in Chinese). In English, in 2017. Food Safety in China, J. Jen and J. Chen (eds.), Wiley Publishing.

Aspinall, W., R. Cooke, A. Havelaar, S. 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. 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.

World Health Organization. 2015. "WHO Estimates of the Global Burden of Foodborne Diseases: Foodborne Disease Burden Epidemiology Reference Group 2007-2015," Contributing scientist. (accessed Dec. 21, 2015).

Batz, M.B., S. 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., 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., 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. 2011. "Overcoming Barriers to Integrating Economic Analysis into Risk Assessment," Risk Analysis 31(9):1345-55.

Hoffmann, S. 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., and W. Harder. 2010. "Food Safety and Risk Governance in Globalized Markets," Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine 20(1):5-54.

Hoffmann, S. 2010. "Ensuring Food Safety around the Globe: The Many Roles of Risk Analysis from Risk Ranking to Microbial Risk Assessment," Risk Analysis 30(5):711-14.

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

Hoffmann, S. 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., 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):1220-1229.

World Bank. 2007. Cost of Pollution in China: Economic Estimates of Physical Damages. Contributing author.

Goodhue, R.E., and S. Hoffmann. 2006. "Reading the Fine Print in Agricultural Contracts: Conventional Contract Clauses, Risks and Returns," American Journal of Agricultural Economics 88(5):1237-43.

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

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

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

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

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

Hoffmann, S., 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.