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Consumer demand for carbohydrates: A look across products and income classes

  • Eugene Jones

    (Department of Agricultural Economics, 2120 Fyffe Road, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210-1067)

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    Many researchers have used Nationwide Food Consumption Survey (NFCS) data to estimate price and expenditure elasticities for various food groups. Results reported by these researchers have shown own-price elasticities to be negative, inelastic, and statistically significant; cross-price and expenditure elasticities have been shown to be positive and statistically significant. Further, some researchers have used NFCS data to try and estimate differential price responses of lower and higher income groups, and these authors have found no statistically significant differences in the magnitude of own-price elasticities. This study, using supermarket scanner data for several carbohydrates, finds significant differences in the price sensitivity of lower and higher income groups. These differences, however, are reflected more in purchase selections than in the magnitude of own-price elasticities. Also, regardless of income status, most expenditure and own-price elasticities are found to be elastic and statistically significant, and most cross-price elasticities are found to be positive and statistically insignificant. An important conclusion of this study is that the elasticities reported here provide a more accurate measure of consumer behavior than those reported in studies using NFCS data. © 1997 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Agribusiness.

    Volume (Year): 13 (1997)
    Issue (Month): 6 ()
    Pages: 599-612

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:agribz:v:13:y:1997:i:6:p:599-612
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    1. Barten, Anton P, 1977. "The Systems of Consumer Demand Functions Approach: A Review," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(1), pages 23-51, January.
    2. Blanciforti, Laura & Green, Richard, 1983. "An Almost Ideal Demand System Incorporating Habits: An Analysis of Expenditures on Food and Aggregate Commodity Groups," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(3), pages 511-15, August.
    3. John L. Park & Rodney B. Holcomb & Kellie Curry Raper & Oral Capps, 1996. "A Demand Systems Analysis of Food Commodities by U.S. Households Segmented by Income," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(2), pages 290-300.
    4. Kuo S. Huang, 1996. "Nutrient Elasticities in a Complete Food Demand System," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(1), pages 21-29.
    5. Blanciforti, Laura Ann & Green, Richard, 1983. "The Almost Ideal Demand System: A Comparison and Application to Food Groups," Agricultural Economics Research, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, issue 3.
    6. Huang, Kuo S., 1985. "U.S Demand for Food: A Complete System of Price and Icome Effects," Technical Bulletins 206507, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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