The dynamic impact of income and income distribution on food consumption among adults in rural China

Elsevier, Journal of Integrative Agriculture, Volume 20, January 2021
LI L., ZHAI S.-X., BAI J.-F.

Previous studies have demonstrated that income has a significant effect on food demand in rural China. However, little research has focused on the dynamic impact of income and income distribution on food demand in rural China. Using China Health and Nutrition Survey data, this study employs a consistent two-step quadratic almost ideal demand system model, with addressed problems of endogeneity of total expenditure and zero shares, to estimate the food demand elasticities among adults in rural areas with regard to the different income strata. The results show that changes in income and income strata have significant effects on food demand in rural areas. Except for grains, all other food groups, including vegetables, oils and fats, animal products, and other foods, have positive income elasticities, and the rise in the income strata will lead to declining income elasticities for grains, vegetables, oils and fats, and animal products. Based on the estimated income elasticities, the food consumption projections indicate that reducing income inequality in rural society can improve the living standard of low-income people in terms of nutrient intakes.