Structural change in urban Chinese food preferences

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Abstract

We undertake a range of tests for structural food preference change in urban China, using provincial-level panel data from 2002 to 2010. We introduce a time transition function into the Generalized Quadratic Almost Ideal Demand System (GQAIDS) to represent consumer preferences. We apply this system to evaluate the demand structure for seven food groups. The use of the GQAIDS specification relaxes many empirical demand system restrictions associated with previous analyses of structural preference change. Our findings suggest that Chinese food preferences are continuing to evolve.

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