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Abstract

Over the last 20 years, consumers have spent a declining portion of their income on food for consumption at home, while the share of income spent on meals purchased at restaurants, cafeterias, and fast-food chains has held constant This article attempts to explain this phenomenon by estimating a 3-equation translog system of quarterly consumer demand for food consumed at home, purchased meals, and nonfood items An explicitly additive, nonlinear, nonhomothetic translog system is found to be the best representation Results indicate that rising consumer incomes rather than changing relative prices are the principal reason consumers are eating away from home more often

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