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Do Prices and Attributes Explain International Differences in Food Purchases?

  • Dubois, Pierre
  • Griffith, Rachel
  • Nevo, Aviv

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) esti- mate 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 di¤erence (e.g., US-France di¤erence in caloric intake), but generally cannot explain many of the compositional patterns by themselves. Instead, it seems an interaction between the economic environment and di¤erences in preferences is needed to explain cross country differences.

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Paper provided by Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 759.

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Date of creation: Jan 2013
Date of revision: May 2013
Publication status: Published in American Economic Review, vol.�104, n°3, mars 2014, p.�832-867.
Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:26731
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  1. Dana Goldman & Darius Lakdawalla & Yuhui Zheng, 2009. "Food Prices and the Dynamics of Body Weight," NBER Working Papers 15096, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Seale, James & Regmi, Anita & Bernstein, Jason, 2003. "International Evidence on Food Consumption Patterns," Technical Bulletins 184321, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  3. Shapiro, Jesse & Glaeser, Edward & Cutler, David, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese," Scholarly Articles 2640583, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. David Atkin, 2013. "Trade, Tastes, and Nutrition in India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 1629-63, August.
  5. Dixit R & Mathew Dilip & Raghuram, G., . "A Note on the Indian Motor Vehicle," IIMA Working Papers WP1990-12-01_00984, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Research and Publication Department.
  6. Andrew Leicester & Zo� Oldfield, 2009. "Using Scanner Technology to Collect Expenditure Data," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 30(Special I), pages 309-337, December.
  7. S. Narayan, 2009. "India," Chapters, in: The Political Economy of Trade Reform in Emerging Markets, chapter 7 Edward Elgar.
  8. Richard Blundell & Robin, J M, 1995. "Latent separability: grouping goods without weak separability," IFS Working Papers W95/09, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  9. Lu, Yang & Goldman, Dana, 2010. "The Effects of Relative Food Prices on Obesity – Evidence from China: 1991-2006," Working Papers 58249, American Association of Wine Economists.
  10. Sara Bleich & David Cutler & Christopher Murray & Alyce Adams, 2007. "Why Is The Developed World Obese?," NBER Working Papers 12954, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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