Do Prices and Attributes Explain International Differences in Food Purchases?
Food purchases differ substantially across countries. We use detailed household level data from the US, France and the UK to (i) document these differences; (ii) estimate a demand system for food and nutrients, and (iii) simulate counterfactual choices if households faced prices and nutritional characteristics from other countries. We find that differences in prices and characteristics are important and can explain some difference (e.g., US-France difference in caloric intake), but generally cannot explain many of the compositional patterns by themselves. Instead, it seems an interaction between the economic environment and differences in preferences is needed to explain cross country differences.
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