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Matching Food with Mouths: A Statistical Explanation to the Abnormal Decline of Per Capita Food Consumption in Rural China

Xiaohua Yu and David Abler ()

No 198717, GlobalFood Discussion Papers from Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development

Abstract: This study provides an alternative explanation for the unusual apparent decline in food consumption in rural China after 2000. We find that it is mainly attributable to significant measurement errors in the Chinese Rural Household Survey and the calculation of per capita food consumption. In a household survey, total consumption for a household in a certain period is often well recorded, and per capita consumption is obtained by dividing total consumption by household size. Such a calculation of per capita food consumption is vulnerable to a mismatch between food and mouths. Total consumption may be subject to measurement errors caused primarily by food away from home (FAFH). Also, the household size recorded in the survey is not necessarily the same as the number of mouths (consumption household size), who consume the food recorded in the survey. Our results indicate that food consumption in rural China is currently being underestimated by about 30%. Our results also indicate that income elasticities of food consumption are greater than measured elasticities based on the Rural Household Survey data.

Keywords: Consumer/Household Economics; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; Food Security and Poverty (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 28
Date: 2015-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-cna and nep-tra
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Journal Article: Matching food with mouths: A statistical explanation to the abnormal decline of per capita food consumption in rural China (2016) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ags:gagfdp:198717

DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.198717

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