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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Pierre Dubois & Rachel Griffith & Aviv Nevo, 2014. "Do Prices and Attributes Explain International Differences in Food Purchases?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(3), pages 832-867, March.
  • 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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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L66 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Food; Beverages; Cosmetics; Tobacco
    • Q11 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Aggregate Supply and Demand Analysis; Prices

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