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Abstract

A flexible, full rank two model of food consumption that is globally consistent with economic theory, aggregates across income, demographic variables, and variations in micro demand parameters, and accommodates tradeoffs between tastes and nutrition is derived. The econometric demand model is estimated with per capita U.S. consumption of 21 foods on the time period 1919-1994, excluding the World War II years 1942-1946. An approach for inferring the percentage of nutrients available from individual commodities in the U.S. food supply is derived and implemented empirically on the time period 1949-1995 for the nutrients energy, protein, total fat, carbohydrates, and cholesterol. The two sets of model results are combined to generate time paths for income and Hicksian compensated price elasticities of demand for individual foods and macronutrients.

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