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Religion, food choices, and demand seasonality: Evidence from the Ethiopian milk market

E. D'Haene, S. Desiere, M. D'Haese, W. Verbeke and Koen Schoors

No 276029, 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia from International Association of Agricultural Economists

Abstract: This paper addresses the role of religious practices on market outcomes. We study the Ethiopian milk market what amounts to a natural experiment influenced by different Christian, Islamic and traditional faiths. Focal point of this article are the fasting rituals characterized by the abstinence of animal products, a fundamental pillar of Orthodox Christianity, the dominant religious group within Ethiopia. Employing country-wide data collected by the Living Standards Measurement Studies, we find, much to our surprise, that the fasting rituals of the Orthodox Christian society adversely affects both milk demand in Orthodox and local Muslim communities alike. The direct effect on Orthodox groups and the spillovers to Muslim networks create important market inefficiencies. The religion-related demand cycles are particularly challenging to government policies that aim to develop the livestock sector. Keywords: Consumer behavior, Collective fasting rituals, Intentional demand seasonality, Livestock sector development and policies, Religion, Market inefficiencies

Keywords: International Development; Livestock Production/Industries (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-afr and nep-isf
Date: 2018-07
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ags:iaae18:276029

DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.276029

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