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Abstract

Though numerous researchers have analyzed the effects of socioeconomic factors on food-away-from-home (FAFH) consumption, little is known about how household composition will affect China’s FAFH patterns. This study focuses on the effects of household composition along with income and education on FAFH expenditures in urban China. A Box-Cox double-hurdle model is estimated using recent household survey data collected by the authors from Beijing, Nanjing, Chengdu, Xi’an, Shenyang and Xiamen, China. Household composition indeed has significant effects on FAFH consumption, both at the participation and expenditure steps. Different age groups have different influences. Seniors old than 60 years eat out less frequently and spend less when they consume FAFH, while adults between 20-49 are the major FAFH consumers in urban China. Children younger than 10 years have no significant effect on either FAFH participation or expenditure. Also, we find both income and wife’s education have positive effects on FAFH consumption. The participation elasticity with respect to income is a bit lower, while the expenditure elasticity is significantly higher. Families with highly educated wives tend to dine away from home more often than their counterparts.

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