IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/chieco/v73y2022ics1043951x22000530.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Memory of famine: The persistent impact of famine experience on food waste behavior

Author

Listed:
  • Ding, Yawen
  • Min, Shi
  • Wang, Xiaobing
  • Yu, Xiaohua

Abstract

The 1959–1961 Great Famine in China was one of the most devastating events in history and had long-term effects on economic behavior. This paper seeks to provide a novel explanation for heterogeneous food waste behaviors across age cohorts from the perspective of differing famine experiences. Based on 2004–2009 China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS) data, this paper constructs a difference-in-difference estimator to explore the long-term effects of the early-life famine experience of the household head on household food waste behavior in later life. The results indicate that the more serious famine that the household head experienced in early life was, the less wasted food and lost calories per capita there were, especially for adolescence during the famine. The mechanism analysis shows that households whose heads experienced the 1959–1961 Great Famine in early life tend to save more than those whose head did not. The findings contribute to a better understanding of the formation of preference and the variation in household food waste behaviors across age cohorts.

Suggested Citation

  • Ding, Yawen & Min, Shi & Wang, Xiaobing & Yu, Xiaohua, 2022. "Memory of famine: The persistent impact of famine experience on food waste behavior," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:73:y:2022:i:c:s1043951x22000530
    DOI: 10.1016/j.chieco.2022.101795
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1043951X22000530
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.chieco.2022.101795?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gørgens, Tue & Meng, Xin & Vaithianathan, Rhema, 2012. "Stunting and selection effects of famine: A case study of the Great Chinese Famine," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 99-111.
    2. Lin, Justin Yifu & Yang, Dennis Tao, 2000. "Food Availability, Entitlements and the Chinese Famine of 1959-61," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(460), pages 136-158, January.
    3. Becker, Gary S, 1992. "Habits, Addictions, and Traditions," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(3), pages 327-345.
    4. De Zhou & Xiaohua Yu, 2015. "Calorie Elasticities with Income Dynamics: Evidence from the Literature," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 37(4), pages 575-601.
    5. Lisa Cameron & Manisha Shah, 2015. "Risk-Taking Behavior in the Wake of Natural Disasters," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(2), pages 484-515.
    6. Jérémie Gignoux & Marta Menéndez, 2016. "Benefit in the wake of disaster: Long-run effects of earthquakes on welfare in rural Indonesia," PSE-Ecole d'économie de Paris (Postprint) halshs-01245544, HAL.
    7. Loren Brandt & Aloysius Siow & Carl Vogel, 2016. "Large Demographic Shocks and Small Changes in the Marriage Market," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 14(6), pages 1437-1468.
    8. Behrman, Jere R & Deolalikar, Anil B, 1987. "Will Developing Country Nutrition Improve with Income? A Case Study for Rural South India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 492-507, June.
    9. Alexander, Peter & Brown, Calum & Arneth, Almut & Finnigan, John & Moran, Dominic & Rounsevell, Mark D.A., 2017. "Losses, inefficiencies and waste in the global food system," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 190-200.
    10. Yi Chen & Ziying Fan & Xiaomin Gu & Li-An Zhou, 2020. "Arrival of Young Talent: The Send-Down Movement and Rural Education in China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 110(11), pages 3393-3430, November.
    11. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2001. "Psychological Expected Utility Theory and Anticipatory Feelings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 55-79.
    12. Ren, Yanjun & Li, Hui & Wang, Xiaobing, 2019. "Family income and nutrition-related health: Evidence from food consumption in China," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 232(C), pages 58-76.
    13. Shang-Jin Wei & Xiaobo Zhang, 2011. "The Competitive Saving Motive: Evidence from Rising Sex Ratios and Savings Rates in China," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(3), pages 511-564.
    14. Marcos D. Chamon & Eswar S. Prasad, 2010. "Why Are Saving Rates of Urban Households in China Rising?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 93-130, January.
    15. Bao, Te & Dai, Yun & Yu, Xiaohua, 2018. "Memory and discounting: Theory and evidence," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 21-30.
    16. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2008. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 414-427, August.
    17. Daniel Kahneman & Richard H. Thaler, 2006. "Anomalies: Utility Maximization and Experienced Utility," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 221-234, Winter.
    18. Min, Shi & Wang, Xiaobing & Yu, Xiaohua, 2021. "Does dietary knowledge affect household food waste in the developing economy of China?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 98(C).
    19. Esther Duflo, 2001. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 795-813, September.
    20. Tian, Xu & Yu, Xiaohua, 2015. "Using semiparametric models to study nutrition improvement and dietary change with different indices: The case of China," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 67-81.
    21. Nicholas E. Piggott, 2003. "The Nested PIGLOG Model: An Application to U.S. Food Demand," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(1), pages 1-15.
    22. Schurr, Amos & Rodensky, Dotan & Erev, Ido, 2014. "The effect of unpleasant experiences on evaluation and behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 1-9.
    23. Xu, Zhigang & Zhang, Zongli & Liu, Haiyan & Zhong, Funing & Bai, Junfei & Cheng, Shengkui, 2020. "Food-away-from-home plate waste in China: Preference for variety and quantity," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 97(C).
    24. Gilboa, Itzhak & Postlewaite, Andrew & Samuelson, Larry, 2016. "Memorable consumption," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 165(C), pages 414-455.
    25. Albert Park, 2006. "Risk and Household Grain Management in Developing Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(514), pages 1088-1115, October.
    26. Gary S. Becker, 1992. "Habits, Addictions, and Traditions," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(3), pages 327-345, August.
    27. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    28. Pan He & Giovanni Baiocchi & Klaus Hubacek & Kuishuang Feng & Yang Yu, 2018. "The environmental impacts of rapidly changing diets and their nutritional quality in China," Nature Sustainability, Nature, vol. 1(3), pages 122-127, March.
    29. Iris Kesternich & Bettina Siflinger & James P. Smith & Joachim K. Winter, 2015. "Individual Behaviour as a Pathway between Early†life Shocks and Adult Health: Evidence from Hunger Episodes in Post†war Germany," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(588), pages 372-393, November.
    30. Sibhatu, Kibrom T. & Qaim, Matin, 2018. "Review: Meta-analysis of the association between production diversity, diets, and nutrition in smallholder farm households," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 1-18.
    31. Lin, Justin Yifu & Yang, Dennis Tao, 1998. "On the causes of China's agricultural crisis and the great leap famine," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 125-140.
    32. Cui, Hanxiao & Smith, James P. & Zhao, Yaohui, 2020. "Early-life deprivation and health outcomes in adulthood: Evidence from childhood hunger episodes of middle-aged and elderly Chinese," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    33. Douglas Almond & Lena Edlund & Hongbin Li & Junsen Zhang, 2010. "Long-Term Effects of Early-Life Development: Evidence from the 1959 to 1961 China Famine," NBER Chapters, in: The Economic Consequences of Demographic Change in East Asia, pages 321-345, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    34. Gignoux, Jérémie & Menéndez, Marta, 2016. "Benefit in the wake of disaster: Long-run effects of earthquakes on welfare in rural Indonesia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 26-44.
    35. Bai, Junfei & Wahl, Thomas I. & Lohmar, Bryan T. & Huang, Jikun, 2010. "Food away from home in Beijing: Effects of wealth, time and "free" meals," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 432-441, September.
    36. Chen, Yuyu & Zhou, Li-An, 2007. "The long-term health and economic consequences of the 1959-1961 famine in China," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 659-681, July.
    37. Xin Meng & Nancy Qian & Pierre Yared, 2015. "The Institutional Causes of China's Great Famine, 1959–1961," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(4), pages 1568-1611.
    38. Emmanuel Skoufias & Vincenzo Di Maro & Teresa Gonzalez-Cossio & Sonia Rodriguez Ramirez, 2011. "Food quality, calories and household income," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(28), pages 4331-4342.
    39. Brenna Ellison & Jayson L Lusk, 2018. "Examining Household Food Waste Decisions: A Vignette Approach," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 40(4), pages 613-631, December.
    40. Quested, T.E. & Marsh, E. & Stunell, D. & Parry, A.D., 2013. "Spaghetti soup: The complex world of food waste behaviours," Resources, Conservation & Recycling, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 43-51.
    41. Xin Meng & Xiaodong Gong & Youjuan Wang, 2009. "Impact of Income Growth and Economic Reform on Nutrition Availability in Urban China: 1986-2000," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(2), pages 261-295, January.
    42. Yang, Dali L. & Su, Fubing, 1998. "The politics of famine and reform in rural China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 141-155.
    43. Chater, Nick & Loewenstein, George, 2016. "The under-appreciated drive for sense-making," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 126(PB), pages 137-154.
    44. Lopez Barrera, Emiliano & Hertel, Thomas, 2021. "Global food waste across the income spectrum: Implications for food prices, production and resource use," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 98(C).
    45. Callen, Michael, 2015. "Catastrophes and time preference: Evidence from the Indian Ocean Earthquake," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 199-214.
    46. Huang, Jiaqi & Antonides, Gerrit & Kuhlgatz, Christian H. & Nie, Fengying, 2018. "Mental accounting, production scale, and consumption of self-produced food: Empirical evidence from rural China," 2018 Annual Meeting, August 5-7, Washington, D.C. 273986, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    47. Kung, James Kai-Sing & Chen, Shuo, 2011. "The Tragedy of the Nomenklatura: Career Incentives and Political Radicalism during China's Great Leap Famine," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 27-45, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Qiyan Zeng & Zhipeng He & Yuting Wang, 2022. "The Direct and Structure Effect of Income on Nutrition Demand of Chinese Rural Residents," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 19(20), pages 1-13, October.
    2. Wenli Cheng & Hui Shi, 2019. "Surviving the Famine Unscathed? An Analysis of the Long‐Term Health Effects of the Great Chinese Famine," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 86(2), pages 746-772, October.
    3. Pramod Kumar Sur & Masaru Sasaki, 2021. "The Persistent Effect of Famine on Present-Day China: Evidence from the Billionaires," Papers 2104.00935, arXiv.org, revised Apr 2021.
    4. Gooch, Elizabeth, 2017. "Estimating the Long-Term Impact of the Great Chinese Famine (1959–61) on Modern China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 140-151.
    5. Li, Qiang & An, Lian, 2015. "Intergenerational health consequences of the 1959–1961 Great Famine on children in rural China," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 18(C), pages 27-40.
    6. Xu, Hongwei & Li, Lydia & Zhang, Zhenmei & Liu, Jinyu, 2016. "Is natural experiment a cure? Re-examining the long-term health effects of China's 1959–1961 famine," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 110-122.
    7. Feng, Xunan & Johansson, Anders C., 2018. "Living through the Great Chinese Famine: Early-life experiences and managerial decisions," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 638-657.
    8. Chen, Qihui & Deng, Tinghe & Pei, Chunchen & Wang, Chengcheng, 2018. "Memory of Famine – Does Childhood Experience of Severe Food Shortage Affect Food Choice in Old Age?," 2018 Annual Meeting, August 5-7, Washington, D.C. 273897, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    9. Huang, Cheng & Phillips, Michael R. & Zhang, Yali & Zhang, Jingxuan & Shi, Qichang & Song, Zhiqiang & Ding, Zhijie & Pang, Shutao & Martorell, Reynaldo, 2013. "Malnutrition in early life and adult mental health: Evidence from a natural experiment," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 259-266.
    10. Shoji, Masahiro, 2020. "Early-Life Circumstances and Adult Locus of Control: Evidence from 46 Developing Countries," MPRA Paper 99987, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Pierre-Guillaume Méon & Robin Rampaer & David Raymaekers, 2021. "One-minute earthquake, years of patience: Evidence from Mexico on the effect of earthquake exposure on time preference," Working Papers CEB 21-015, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    12. Huang, Jiaqi & Antonides, Gerrit & Nie, Fengying, 2020. "Is mental accounting of farm produce associated with more consumption of own-produced food?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 88(C).
    13. Johar, Meliyanni & Johnston, David W. & Shields, Michael A. & Siminski, Peter & Stavrunova, Olena, 2022. "The economic impacts of direct natural disaster exposure," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 196(C), pages 26-39.
    14. Gooch, Elizabeth, 2019. "Terrain ruggedness and limits of political repression: Evidence from China’s Great Leap Forward and Famine (1959-61)," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 827-852.
    15. Xue Feng Hu & Gordon G. Liu & Maoyong Fan, 2017. "Long‐Term Effects of Famine on Chronic Diseases: Evidence from China's Great Leap Forward Famine," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(7), pages 922-936, July.
    16. Gørgens, Tue & Meng, Xin & Vaithianathan, Rhema, 2012. "Stunting and selection effects of famine: A case study of the Great Chinese Famine," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 99-111.
    17. Mohammad Ali & Kira M. Villa & Janak Joshi, 2018. "Health and hunger: nutrient response to income depending on caloric availability in Nepal," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 49(5), pages 611-621, September.
    18. Elizabeth Gooch, 2018. "Resistance is Futile? Institutional and Geographic Factors in China’s Great Leap Famine," HiCN Working Papers 266, Households in Conflict Network.
    19. Fang, Guanfu & Li, Wei & Zhu, Ying, 2022. "The shadow of the epidemic: Long-term impacts of meningitis exposure on risk preference and behaviors," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 157(C).
    20. Kevin Luo & Tomoko Kinugasa, 2018. "Do natural disasters influence long-term saving?: Assessing the impact of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake on household saving rates using synthetic control," Discussion Papers 1804, Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Famine experience; Food waste behavior; Preference; Memory utility;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:73:y:2022:i:c:s1043951x22000530. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/chieco .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/chieco .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.