SP B2: Dynamics and Quality in Food Demand

Beyond understanding consumer preferences and willingness to pay for specific food attributes, there are also more structural changes in global food demand. Economic growth, urbanization, and demographic change lead to new consumption patterns, which need to be understood with a view to agricultural and food policies. Detailed analysis of revealed preferences data under different socioeconomic conditions can help better comprehend the trends in global food demand, which is the focus of Subproject B2. High-value products are increasingly substituted for staple foods, and levels of quality differentiation within food categories rise. Existing demand models are not well suited to capture these dynamics. So far, the literature has mainly focused on statically estimating price and income elasticities for undifferentiated food aggregates. This calls for both further methodological and empirical work. In particular, Subproject B2 contributes by incorporating existing demand systems and adding flexibility to better model consumer behavior with structural changes. The methods developed are used for concrete empirical examples, mostly building on secondary household panel data from various countries.

Possible topics for doctoral research:

  • Estimating changes in the demand for food quality and dietary diversity with latent class models
  • Economic development and healthy diets: accounting for consumer heterogeneity with finite mixture models

Doctoral researchers involved:

Doctoral researchers of the first cohort:
De Zhou

Doctoral researchers of the second cohort:
Christoph Steffen
Farah Wulandari Pangestuty
Duc Tri Tran

Doctoral researchers of the third cohort:
Hengrong Luo

Principal investigators/supervisors:
Xiaohua Yu