Agricultural economists first carried out demand studies in order to understand determinants of farm prices and incomes. The shift to a focus on consumer welfare began with studies of the role of food and food assistance in standards of living. Now the profession is more concerned with how information and quality attributes influence consumer behavior. Agricultural economists' empirical work in this field has informed the development of household production theory, hedonic price theory, definitions of poverty thresholds, complete demand systems, and survey and experimental techniques to elicit preferences. Copyright 2010, Oxford University Press.