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Abstract

The paper aims to investigate food expenditure behaviours and dynamics of Italian households, by identifying the main characteristics of different socioeconomic groups. In particular, the study focuses on relevant food categories in terms of healthy diet to investigate different food styles consumers. In this framework, the paper stresses the linkages between food demand behaviours and socioeconomic characteristics to give some insights on the difference between wealthy/not wealthy consumers. The analysis uses the 2000 and 2006 Consumption Expenditure Surveys at household level, implemented by the Italian National Statistical Institute (ISTAT), that provide useful data on households socioeconomic conditions and consumption expenditures dynamics on a cross-sectional population sample of about 24000 units. In a first step, the work analyses food expenditures characteristics and dynamics across different consumers classes in order to describe demand profiles. In a second step, the work directly investigates relations between socioeconomic characteristics (e.g. income, age, household size, education) and households food expenditures, by adopting advanced econometric methods, e.g. quantile regression methods, to identify existing differences across socioeconomic groups.

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