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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 Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) in its series TSE Working Papers with number 370.

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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:tse:wpaper:26732
Contact details of provider: Phone: (+33) 5 61 12 86 23
Web page: http://www.tse-fr.eu/

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  1. 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.
  2. Dana Goldman & Darius Lakdawalla & Yuhui Zheng, 2011. "Food Prices and the Dynamics of Body Weight," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Aspects of Obesity, pages 65-90 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Seale, James L., Jr. & Regmi, Anita & Bernstein, Jason, 2003. "International Evidence On Food Consumption Patterns," Technical Bulletins 33580, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  4. Seale, James & Regmi, Anita & Bernstein, Jason, 2003. "International Evidence on Food Consumption Patterns," Technical Bulletins 184321, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  5. 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.
  6. Atkin, David, 2010. "Trade, Tastes and Nutrition in India," Working Papers 80, Yale University, Department of Economics.
  7. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 93-118, Summer.
  8. 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.
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