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Do Prices and Attributes Explain International Differences in Food Purchases?

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  • Pierre Dubois
  • Rachel Griffith
  • Aviv Nevo

Abstract

Food purchases differ substantially across countries. We use detailed household level data from the US, France and the UK to (i) document these differences; (ii) estimate a demand system for food and nutrients, and (iii) simulate counterfactual choices if households faced prices and nutritional characteristics from other countries. We find that differences in prices and characteristics are important and can explain some difference (e.g., US-France difference in caloric intake), but generally cannot explain many of the compositional patterns by themselves. Instead, it seems an interaction between the economic environment and differences in preferences is needed to explain cross country differences.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 104 (2014)
Issue (Month): 3 (March)
Pages: 832-67

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:104:y:2014:i:3:p:832-67

Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.104.3.832
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  1. David Atkin, 2013. "Trade, Tastes, and Nutrition in India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 1629-63, August.
  2. Seale, James L., Jr. & Regmi, Anita & Bernstein, Jason, 2003. "International Evidence On Food Consumption Patterns," Technical Bulletins 33580, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  3. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1994, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  4. Shapiro, Jesse & Glaeser, Edward & Cutler, David, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese," Scholarly Articles 2640583, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Dana Goldman & Darius Lakdawalla & Yuhui Zheng, 2011. "Food Prices and the Dynamics of Body Weight," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Aspects of Obesity, pages 65-90 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Yang Lu & Dana Goldman, 2010. "The Effects of Relative Food Prices on Obesity — Evidence from China: 1991-2006," NBER Working Papers 15720, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Sara Bleich & David Cutler & Christopher Murray & Alyce Adams, 2007. "Why Is The Developed World Obese?," NBER Working Papers 12954, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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