How Economic Factors Influence the Nutrient Content of Diets: an Application of Animal Products Demand System in Tunisia
Most of the literature on Tunisian food demand measures the influence of traditional variables such as income and prices, or some socio-demographic variables. However, nowadays other important factors determine the consumer's final choice, among which are: the nutritious quality, the nutrient content of food and the increasing concern about health. The objective of this paper is twofold. On one hand, the paper aims to analyse the effect of previous factors on meat consumer behaviour. On the other hand, to the author's knowledge, this may well be one of the first studies that use data to answer the previous questions in the case of Tunisia. The nutritious quality of meat is measured by an index that relates nutrient content of each product with the standards suggested by the National Academy of Science. To cope with the second objective a demand system has been specified and estimated and nutrient elasticities have been obtained. Results are different from traditional studies in the sense that higher prices do not indicate lower consumption but a higher quality demand.
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