The Demand For Food Quality In Russia And Its Linkage To Obesity
This study analyses whether Russian households differ in their choice of food quality when they differ in their number of overweight and obese members. Using survey data from the Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS) for the years 1995-2005, households are classified into three weight groups. Quality elasticities of expenditures are estimated by a fixed-effects panel model regressing unit values of several food groups on expenditures and a set of household characteristics. Coefficients for each weight group are received by including interaction terms of expenditures and weight group dummies. A set of Wald tests is applied to test for slope heterogeneity across weight groups. Descriptive statistics reveal that obese households actually purchase larger quantities and pay less per unit for many food products. However, estimates of the quality elasticity show low absolute values and range from -0.2 to 1.1 for single food groups and the null hypothesis of equal parameters for all weight groups cannot be rejected.
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