Publications

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  • International Evidence on Food Consumption Patterns: An Update Using 2005 International Comparison Program Data

    TB-1929, March 22, 2011

    In a 2003 report, International Evidence on Food Consumption Patterns, ERS economists estimated income and price elasticities of demand for broad consumption categories and food categories across 114 countries using 1996 International Comparison Program (ICP) data. This report updates that analysis with an estimated two-stage demand system across 144 countries using 2005 ICP data. Advances in ICP data collection since 1996 led to better results and more accurate income and price elasticity estimates. Low-income countries spend a greater portion of their budget on necessities, such as food, while richer countries spend a greater proportion of their income on luxuries, such as recreation. Low-value staples, such as cereals, account for a larger share of the food budget in poorer countries, while high-value food items are a larger share of the food budget in richer countries. Overall, low-income countries are more responsive to changes in income and food prices and, therefore, make larger adjustments to their food consumption pattern when incomes and prices change. However, adjustments to price and income changes are not uniform across all food categories. Staple food consumption changes the least, while consumption of higher-value food items changes the most.

  • Cross-Price Elasticities of Demand Across 114 Countries

    TB-1925, March 19, 2010

    This report presents a simple methodology for calculating cross-price elasticities across countries, using the Frisch own-price elasticity. Cross-price elasticities are calculated for 9 major consumption categories from the 1996 International Comparison Program data across 114 countries. The consumption categories are: food, beverage, and tobacco; clothing and footwear; education; gross rent, fuel, and power; house furnishings and operations; medical care; recreation; transport and communications; and "other" items. Additionally, cross-price elasticities are calculated and reported for a two-good demand system of food and nonfood. The elasticity estimates from this report are the only available consistent cross-country cross-price elasticity estimates across this large a number of countries and consumption categories.

  • International Evidence on Food Consumption Patterns

    TB-1904, October 06, 2003

    This report analyzes expenditures on major consumption categories including food and different food subcategories across 114 countries. It also presents estimated expenditure responsiveness or elasticities with price and income changes for each of the major consumption categories and food subcategories for individual countries in the study. The data in this report are available electronically. See the International Food Consumption Patterns data product.

  • Structure of the Global Markets for Meat

    AIB-785, September 01, 2003

    Meat trade flows among countries and world regions are determined largely by differences among countries in their resource base, their preferences for meat types and cuts, the extent and character of barriers to trade, and the industry structure. Future growth of meat trade depends on further liberalization of protectionist barriers, eradication of animal diseases, economic development, and population growth. Trade growth is likely to feature greater complexity in trade patterns, with more countries engaging in trade, and with an increased tendency for individual countries to import and export meat cuts and offal from the same animal species.

  • Globalization of the Processed Foods Market

    AER-742, April 02, 1997

    International commerce in processed foods substantially exceeds the value of unprocessed agricultural commodities and is expanding more rapidly. International trade in processed foods has been the most rapidly growing portion of world food and agricultural trade during the past decade. Even more significant, however, are sales from foreign affiliates of food manufacturing, grocery wholesaling and retailing, and food service firms. Foreign affiliation is acquired through foreign direct investment in foreign plants and facilities. U.S. food manufacturers' sales through foreign affiliates were more than quadruple the value of processed food exports from the United States. Foreign food manufacturers' sales through U.S. affiliates were more than double the value of processed food exports to the United States. Patterns of global commerce in processed foods are influenced by public policies addressing transportation, communication, rules for regional and multinational trade, food product and process standards, the environment, and intellectual property.