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Nutrition Transition and the Structure of Global Food Demand

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  • Christophe Gouel

    (CEPII - Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales - Centre d'analyse stratégique, ECO-PUB - Economie Publique - INA P-G - Institut National Agronomique Paris-Grignon - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, IFPRI - International Food Policy Research Institute [Washington] - CGIAR - Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research [CGIAR])

  • Houssein Guimbard

    (CEPII - Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales - Centre d'analyse stratégique)

Abstract

Estimating future demand for food is a critical aspect of global food security analyses. The process linking dietary changes to wealth is known as the nutrition transition and presents well-identified features that help to predict consumption changes in poor countries. This study proposes to represent the nutrition transition with a nonhomothetic, flexible-in-income, demand system. The resulting model is estimated statistically based on cross-sectional information from FAOSTAT. It captures the main features of the nutrition transition: rise in demand for calories associated with income growth; diversification of diets away from starchy staples; and a large increase in caloric demand for animal-based products, fats, and sweeteners. The estimated model is used to project food demand between 2010 and 2050 based on a set of plausible futures (trend projections and Shared Socioeconomic Pathways scenarios). The main results of these projections are: (1) global food demand will increase by 47%, less than half the growth in the previous four decades; (2) this growth will be attributable mainly to lower-middle-income and low-income countries; (3) the structure of global food demand will change over the period, with a doubling of demand for animal-based calories and a much smaller 19% increase in demand for starchy staples; and (4) the analysis of a range of population and income projections reveals important uncertainties: depending on the scenario, the projected increases in demand for animal-based and vegetal-based calories range from 74 to 114% and from 20 to 42%, respectively.

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  • Christophe Gouel & Houssein Guimbard, 2019. "Nutrition Transition and the Structure of Global Food Demand," Post-Print hal-02043169, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-02043169
    DOI: 10.1093/ajae/aay030
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02043169
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    2. Cecilia Bellora & Élodie Blanc & Jean-Marc Bourgeon & Eric Strobl, 2018. "Estimating the Impact of Crop Diversity on Agricultural Productivity in South Africa," NBER Chapters, in: Agricultural Productivity and Producer Behavior, pages 185-215, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    4. Fukase, Emiko & Martin, Will, 2020. "Economic growth, convergence, and world food demand and supply," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 132(C).
    5. Gouel, Christophe & Laborde, David, 2021. "The crucial role of domestic and international market-mediated adaptation to climate change," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 106(C).
    6. Christophe Gouel & Houssein Guimbard, 2018. "Nutrition Transition and the Structure of Global Food Demand," Post-Print hal-01820555, HAL.
    7. Yang, Anton C. & Gouel, Christophe & Hertel, Thomas W., 2018. "Will Income or Population be the Main Driver of Food Demand Growth to 2050?," 2018 Annual Meeting, August 5-7, Washington, D.C. 274146, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    8. Ravichandran, Thanammal & Teufel, Nils & Capezzone, Filippo & Birner, Regina & Duncan, Alan J., 2020. "Stimulating smallholder dairy market and livestock feed improvements through local innovation platforms in the Himalayan foothills of India," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 95(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    nutrition transition; food demand; food security; Bennett’s law;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • Q11 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Aggregate Supply and Demand Analysis; Prices

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