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Studying composite demand using scanner data: the case of ground beef in the US


Tel: (515) 294-3356; fax: (515) 294-3838. E-mail address: (L. L. Schulz).


This article reports tests of aggregation over elementary ground beef products and estimates composite demand elasticities. Results suggest that we obtain reliable information on consumers’ actual ground beef purchases by grouping data according to either lean percentage or brand type. The results also suggest that we obtain reliable information by using the data to form a single ground beef composite. By testing for valid aggregates and providing estimates of composite demand elasticities the analysis provides economists and policymakers with information regarding the effects of food and agricultural policies on consumers and producers that buy and produce ground beef.