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Price and Expenditure Elasticities for Vegetables in an Urban Food Desert


  • Weatherspoon, Dave D.
  • Dembele, Assa S.
  • Weatherspoon, Lorraine J.
  • Coleman, Marcus A.
  • Oehmke, James F.


Food deserts are associated with lower quality diets and higher obesity rates. Vegetable consumption is key to a healthy diet, reduced obesity and improved health outcomes. Existing research provides little guidance for improving such food environments due to lack of adequate consumption data. This paper addresses this by estimating vegetable demand elasticities for a food-desert community in Detroit, relying on data from a natural experiment. Expenditure played a greater role in determining purchasing behavior than prices. Both elasticities were larger than the national average. Consequently, any policy that increases income or reduces prices could have a significant impact.

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  • Weatherspoon, Dave D. & Dembele, Assa S. & Weatherspoon, Lorraine J. & Coleman, Marcus A. & Oehmke, James F., 2012. "Price and Expenditure Elasticities for Vegetables in an Urban Food Desert," 2012 AAEA/EAAE Food Environment Symposium 123392, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaeafe:123392
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.123392

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    1. Schmitz, Troy G. & Seale, James L., Jr., 2002. "Import Demand For Disaggregated Fresh Fruits In Japan," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 34(3), pages 1-18, December.
    2. You, Zhikang & Epperson, James E. & Huang, Chung L., 1996. "A Composite System Demand Analysis For Fresh Fruits And Vegetables In The United States," Journal of Food Distribution Research, Food Distribution Research Society, vol. 27(3), pages 1-12, October.
    3. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2004.058040_8 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. William A. Barnett, 1979. "Theoretical Foundations for the Rotterdam Model," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(1), pages 109-130.
    5. Seale, James L., Jr. & Sparks, Amy L. & Buxton, Boyd M., 1992. "A Rotterdam Application To International Trade In Fresh Apples: A Differential Approach," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 17(1), pages 1-12, July.
    6. Geir Wæhler Gustavsen & Kyrre Rickertsen, 2006. "A Censored Quantile Regression Analysis of Vegetable Demand: The Effects of Changes in Prices and Total Expenditure," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 54(4), pages 631-645, December.
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    Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety;

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