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Examining changes in fresh fruit and vegetable consumption over time and across regions in urban China

  • Kang Ernest Liu
  • Hung-Hao Chang
  • Wen S. Chern

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to fill a knowledge gap by examining the changes in fruit and vegetable consumption of Chinese households. Design/methodology/approach – Using 1993 and 2001 household survey data from three selected provinces in China, the authors estimated a quantile regression (QR) model to demonstrate how changes of fresh fruit and vegetable consumption over time may differ across regions, and additionally, how these changes may differ over the entire distribution. Findings – Results show significant increases in fresh fruit consumption for all provinces; in addition, the pattern of changes over time differs across the entire distribution. In contrast, significant decreases of fresh vegetable consumption are evident, and results are robust across regions; however, the disparities of fresh vegetable consumption across regions are not significant. Research limitations/implications – The results may shed some light on the national food policy. First, any food policy that may affect prices of fresh fruits and vegetables will likely affect households in lower percentiles more than those in upper percentiles. In addition, based on the findings, households in Guangdong may have a higher risk of inadequate fruit consumption. Lower level consumption of fruits in Guangdong may be caused by its relatively high prices of fruits and perhaps the shifting consumption pattern to a more meat-based diet as income increases. Originality/value – There has been considerable interest in estimating food demand structure in China due to its huge market for food products. However, little is known about the fruits and vegetables products. In addition, most of the previous studies used the linear regression-type model for analysis, which fails to capture the effects of the exogenous factors on the entire distribution. To fill the knowledge gap, this paper uses a QR model with the different-in-difference method to examine the changes in fruit and vegetable consumption of Chinese households. JEL classification: D12, Q18

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Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal China Agricultural Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 276-296

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Handle: RePEc:eme:caerpp:v:3:y:2011:i:3:p:276-296
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