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Article
Publication date: 4 February 2019

Ming Yuan, James Lawrence Seale Jr, Thomas Wahl and Junfei Bai

The purpose of this paper is to offer an overview of dietary transition patterns and a discussion of the food-related health issues in China.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to offer an overview of dietary transition patterns and a discussion of the food-related health issues in China.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper builds on a review of the existing literature on food consumption and diet changes in China, and highlights with specific attention to increasing food consumed away from home, the rising demand for fast and processed foods, and the popularizing of western-style foods in Chinese diets.

Findings

China’s food consumption patterns rapidly transitioned from one in which grains and vegetables dominated to one having more animal products and more diversification. More foods are consumed away from home and in the form of fast and processed. Income growth played and will continue to play a critical role in shifting the structure of food consumption. On the other hand, China is on a fast track from a lean population to one in which being overweight or obese. The associations between health outputs and food transitions, however, are inconclusive.

Originality/value

The main findings of this study have implications for better understanding the key trends and driving forces of China’s food demand system. Moreover, the results from this review are essential for food-related policymaking in many emerging economies where coexistence of undernutrition, deficiency of micronutrients and overweight and obesity is a common challenge to the society and individual households.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Chenguang Li, Junfei Bai, Zhifeng Gao and Jiangyuan Fu

Continuing economic growth in emerging markets offers large market opportunities to producers and marketers worldwide; however, market failures due to asymmetric…

Abstract

Purpose

Continuing economic growth in emerging markets offers large market opportunities to producers and marketers worldwide; however, market failures due to asymmetric information are often seen when high-quality products enter these “new markets” where recognition rates among consumers are low. The use of “geographical origin” labels as quality signals to overcome asymmetric information problem plays an important role. The purpose of this paper is to compare consumers’ perception and willingness to pay (WTP) for different levels of geographic origin labels to provide insights to the strategic use of origin labels in emerging markets.

Design/methodology/approach

A consumer survey on geographic labeling for imported dairy products was carried out in Beijing, China in May 2015. Under the “products of European Union (EU)” range, the authors used “product of Ireland” as a case study for the country-specific origin label. Information on consumer demographic, dairy consumption, safety perceptions, knowledge on Ireland and Irish products, as well as WTP for different geographic labeling and product attributes were collected from 307 face-to-face interviews. WTP was elicited using double-bounded contingent valuation method, and estimated with maximum log-likelihood function.

Findings

The authors found that consumers are willing to pay premium prices for both of these geographical origin indicators, but the EU label had slightly higher WTP results. However, the controversial situation is that although the EU label has a better chance than the country-specific label in signaling premium quality to Chinese consumers, EU labeling at its best signals an average quality across the EU counties. For premium products with above average quality, using generic EU labeling has a potential drawback to the establishment of product differentiation.

Originality/value

This study is the first to evaluate Chinese consumers’ WTP for EU generic origin label for dairy products in comparison to country-specific origin label. Findings of the study have immediate policy and marketing implications in emerging markets.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 119 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 18 March 2016

Hejun Gu and Ugur Aytun Ozturk

Investigating the relationship between gender gap in school enrollment and the spread of information and communication technology (ICT) in rural China.

Abstract

Purpose

Investigating the relationship between gender gap in school enrollment and the spread of information and communication technology (ICT) in rural China.

Design/methodology/approach

Using data from China Health and Nutrition Survey for the period of 1991-2009, we document gender patterns of school enrollments of children aged between 7 and 18 years. We estimate the impact of phone and internet access on school enrollments of children using a probit model.

Findings

The results indicate that the spread of phone and internet access both contribute to an increase in enrollment of females. Naturally, the gender gap in enrollments is not simply shaped by technology, and social norms also play an important role. Consequently, our results also show that enrollment of females is lower in the communities where pro-son preference is stronger, holding technology and other factors constant.

Originality/value

We conclude that promoting further development of telecommunications services may result in narrowing the school enrollment gender gap in rural China. This conclusion is valuable in setting governmental policies as well as guiding the actions of NGOs.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

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Article
Publication date: 18 March 2016

Xinru Han and Yongfu Chen

In the process of economic development and urbanization, it is important to capture the outgoing rural migrant workers’ food consumption characteristics for ensuring…

Abstract

Purpose

In the process of economic development and urbanization, it is important to capture the outgoing rural migrant workers’ food consumption characteristics for ensuring China’s future food security. The purpose of this paper is to empirically analyze the structural characteristics in food consumption demand of outgoing rural migrant workers.

Design/methodology/approach

The food consumption of rural migrant workers is estimated using a quaids approach by the GMM estimator to reveal the determinants of the food consumption of outgoing rural migrant workers in urban China based on a sample of 876 of outgoing rural migrant workers from the 2007-2009 household survey conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics of China.

Findings

The results show that the GMM estimator is consistent compared with the SUR estimator; the conditional expenditure elasticities of grain foods, livestock products, edible oils and vegetables by outgoing rural migrant workers are0.877, 1.081, 0.787 and 0.958, respectively; the unconditional expenditure elasticities of grain foods, livestock products, edible oils and vegetables are 0.634, 0.782, 0.569 and 0.693, respectively; the conditional Marshallian own-price elasticities of grain foods, livestock products, edible oils, and vegetables are -1.004, -1.019, -0.645 and -1.021, respectively.

Practical implications

First, the differences in food consuming patterns between rural residents and outgoing rural migrant workers should be emphasized in ensuring China’s food security for the policymakers. Second, how to ensure the supply for the increase in the consumption demand of livestock products in urban areas should be a major focus of China’s food security strategy.

Originality/value

876 households of outgoing rural migrant worker from the 2007-2009 household survey conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics of China are used; compared the GMM estimator with the SUR estimator in the estimate of the QUAIDS model; it sheds light on the structural characteristics in food consumption demand of outgoing rural migrant workers.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

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Article
Publication date: 18 March 2016

Jong-Wen Wann, Yu-Chen Yang and Wen-Shing Huang

This study investigates consumers' willingness to pay for product attributes of domestically grown fruit and vegetable products.

Abstract

Purpose

This study investigates consumers' willingness to pay for product attributes of domestically grown fruit and vegetable products.

Design/methodology/approach

Conjoint Analysis and Random Utility Model

Findings

Our empirical results show that the willingness to pay for attributes of products are different within groups with different education levels. For respondents who had higher education level, the priority concern for purchasing fruits and vegetables was safety. However, for respondents who had lower education level, the priority of concern was freshness. Regarding environmental awareness, consumers with higher education levels preferred the reduction of pollution more than ecological balance. For intellectual culture, consumers of higher education preferred cultural specialty packaging / labeling, more than described endemic life. Consumers with a lower education preferred endemic life presentation.

Originality/value

This research provides important information regarding consumers’ preference for different attributes of locally grown vegetables and fruits. Using this information, marketing strategies and policy measures to support the consumption of locally grown fruits and vegetables are implemented.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

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Article
Publication date: 27 January 2012

Junfei Bai, Caiping Zhang, Fangbin Qiao and Tom Wahl

The purpose of this paper is to investigate factors influencing household food consumption away from home in Beijing by type of food facility and type of meal.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate factors influencing household food consumption away from home in Beijing by type of food facility and type of meal.

Design/methodology/approach

Derived from the Becker's household production and consumption theory, the authors econometrically specified household expenditure function on food away from home. Box‐Cox transformed double‐hurdle models were estimated. The data were collected in 2007 in Beijing China by the authors, using a diary‐based method designed specifically for this study.

Findings

Household income, time opportunity cost and other socio‐demographic and economic factors were found to be important determinants of household participation and expenditure decisions for dining out. However, the importance of these factors varied by type of food facility and type of meal. Meanwhile, the estimated elasticities with respect to income were correspondingly higher than those for developed countries, suggesting that the demand for food away from home by Chinese households is still in an upward trend.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors' knowledge, this study is the first to analyze Chinese household food consumption away from home by type of food facility and type of meal. Besides, this study uses an exclusive dataset collected from a seven‐day diary‐based survey. The data include more specific information on food away from home than the Urban Household Income and Expenditure (UHIE) survey data conducted by National Bureau of Statistics of China. The UHIE data were extensively used in previous studies on food consumption in China, but are believed to significantly underestimate food away from home consumption.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 16 November 2012

James L. Seale, Junfei Bai, Thomas I. Wahl and Bryan T. Lohmar

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the income sensitivity of food consumption in Beijing, China, using an original household survey data set collected by the Chinese…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the income sensitivity of food consumption in Beijing, China, using an original household survey data set collected by the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Design/methodology/approach

An Engel curve model is fit to the household data of nine food categories and 35 food items, and both conditional and unconditional expenditure elasticities of demand are calculated and reported for the nine food groups and the 35 food items.

Findings

Working's model fits the data well, and the elasticity estimates are all reasonable in terms of economic theory, size and signs. The results indicate a relative large range in income sensitivity among the nine food groups and 35 food items in response to changes in household food expenditure levels.

Originality/value

The research analyzes unique and rich urban household survey data collected by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and is the most comprehensive analysis to date in terms of the number of food items studied for which expenditure elasticities are calculated. These elasticities may be used to study household food consumption patterns, to calculate caloric or nutrient elasticities, to study obesity in China, to study policy prescriptions in terms of taxes and subsidies on food, to infer welfare and affluence, and may be used as inputs into econometric models such as those used by the World Bank, IFPRI, and others.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 4 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

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Book part
Publication date: 12 January 2016

Carl Anfinson, Thomas I. Wahl, James L. Seale and Junfei Bai

This chapter analyzes which factors influence adolescent obesity by separating nutritional factors of the food consumed from socioeconomic and demographic variables.

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter analyzes which factors influence adolescent obesity by separating nutritional factors of the food consumed from socioeconomic and demographic variables.

Methodology/approach

A general linear equation is utilized to model the results empirically. A descriptive analysis is also utilized to determine which foods adolescents consume.

Findings

The empirical results found that food at home and food away from home and calories have a similar positive influence on obesity as measured by body mass index (BMI). The evidence shows that mothers have a greater influence on adolescents’ BMI than do fathers.

Practical implications

The results offer insight on what factors may be attributed to obesity in urban China.

Details

Food Security in a Food Abundant World
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-215-3

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 18 November 2013

Kaixing Huang, Jinxia Wang, Junfei Bai and Huanguang Qiu

The purpose of this paper is to examine the discharge volume of domestic solid waste in rural China and to explore the potential impact of various factors that contribute…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the discharge volume of domestic solid waste in rural China and to explore the potential impact of various factors that contribute to it.

Design/methodology/approach

The data used in this study come from a large-scale field survey conducted in six Chinese provinces. Based on the collected survey data, econometric model on the determinants of domestic solid waste discharge was constructed and used for analysis.

Findings

Results from the study show that the per capita daily discharge of rural domestic solid waste was close to 1 kg in 2010, slightly less than the urban level of 1.2 kg. Results from descriptive statistical analysis and econometric estimation indicate that by implementing selected policy measures, the discharge of solid waste can be significantly reduced. In addition, the discharge of domestic solid waste is also closely related with local socio-economic development. In particular, the results show an obvious inverted U-shaped curve between discharge volume and income. The increase of off-farm labor opportunities would also reduce solid waste discharge in rural China.

Originality/value

This paper focuses on domestic solid waste discharge and its determinants in rural China, a research area very important but seldom reported.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 5 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

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Article
Publication date: 5 May 2015

Li Jiang, Karen C. Seto and Junfei Bai

The impact of dietary changes associated with urbanization is likely to increase the demand for land for food production. The purpose of this paper is to examine the…

Abstract

Purpose

The impact of dietary changes associated with urbanization is likely to increase the demand for land for food production. The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of urban economic development on changes in food demand and associated land requirements for food production.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on economic estimates from the Almost Ideal Demand System, feed conversion ratios, and crop yields, the authors forecast and compare future dietary patterns and land requirements for two types of urban diets in China.

Findings

The results show that the expenditure elasticities of oil and fat, meat, eggs, aquatic products, dairy, and liquor for the diet of capital cities are greater than those for the diet of small- and medium-sized cities. The authors forecast that capital city residents will experience a more rapid rate of increase in per capita demand of meat, eggs, and aquatic products, which will lead to much higher per capita land requirements. Projections indicate that total per capita land demand for food production in capital cities will increase by 9.3 percent, from 1,402 to 1,533 m2 between 2010 and 2030, while total per capita land demand in small- and medium-sized cities will increase only by 5.3 percent, from 1,192 to 1,255 m2.

Originality/value

The results imply that urban economic development can significantly affect the final outcomes of land requirements for food production. Urban economic development is expected to accelerate the rate of change toward an affluent diet, which can lead to much higher future land requirements.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

Keywords

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