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Do Prices and Attributes Explain International Differences in Food Purchases?

  • Pierre Dubois
  • Rachel Griffith
  • Aviv Nevo

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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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. Dixit R & Mathew Dilip & Raghuram, G., . "A Note on the Indian Motor Vehicle," IIMA Working Papers WP1990-12-01_00984, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Research and Publication Department.
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  6. 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.
  7. David Atkin, 2013. "Trade, Tastes and Nutrition in India," Working Papers id:5548, eSocialSciences.
  8. Richard Blundell & Jean-Marc Robin, 2000. "Latent Separability: Grouping Goods without Weak Separability," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(1), pages 53-84, January.
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  10. S. Narayan, 2009. "India," Chapters, in: The Political Economy of Trade Reform in Emerging Markets, chapter 7 Edward Elgar.
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