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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2018

Raluca Alexandra Necula and Stefan Mann

While economists are increasingly acknowledging the importance of distributional issues, the distribution of the consumption of food items has largely been neglected. The…

Abstract

Purpose

While economists are increasingly acknowledging the importance of distributional issues, the distribution of the consumption of food items has largely been neglected. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that important insights can be obtained by analysing the distribution of consumption of food products within society.

Design/methodology/approach

This study was conducted by analysing food consumption in two very different countries: Romania, a middle-income country and Switzerland, one of the most prosperous countries in the world. In order to test the formulated hypotheses, consumption per capita was calculated, as a base for the calculation of the Gini coefficient of consumption for each product. A mixed effect model was applied for total food and for meat, computing the predictors for the variable “consumption distribution”.

Findings

Using the Gini coefficients of food and drink item consumption by Romanian and Swiss households, the authors tested the hypothesis that in prosperous middle-income countries the homogeneity of food consumption is growing over time as a sign of consumption democratisation, whereas in high-income countries a growing degree of individualisation is leading to decreasing homogeneity. For meat, the bifurcation of consumption patterns between vegetarians and hedonists leads to a growing Gini coefficient over time for both countries. The analysis controls for factors such as the products’ importance in the diet and their price.

Originality/value

The paper approaches a new subject and raises a new research question that may be relevant for structural issues of contemporary society. Both the comparative analysis of food distribution in two different societies and their dynamics is a novelty.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 120 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 March 2021

Stefan Mann

Empirical studies on occupational choice have typically concentrated on a specific sector. The purpose of this study is to compare two sectors wherein there are grounds to…

Abstract

Purpose

Empirical studies on occupational choice have typically concentrated on a specific sector. The purpose of this study is to compare two sectors wherein there are grounds to hypothesise that lifestyle reasons play a key role for occupational choice.

Design/methodology/approach

Arguing that the potential for qualitative web scraping is still underused, the hypothesis is tested through qualitative web scraping for occupational choices.

Findings

It is shown that incomes for farmers are both documented in a better way and higher than in arts. The central roles played by farmers in the provision of basic needs and in powerful value chains are possible reasons for this difference. As a common factor between the sectors, two-thirds of both farmers and artists choose their profession for reasons of self-realisation or societal motives.

Originality/value

This study is the first to show both common grounds and differences in occupational choices of two different sectors.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 48 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 June 2019

Stefan Mann and Tatjana Visak

Since 2010, Swiss slaughterhouses have no longer accepted end-of-lay chickens, so egg producers have had to slaughter the animals on the farm and deliver them to biogas…

Abstract

Purpose

Since 2010, Swiss slaughterhouses have no longer accepted end-of-lay chickens, so egg producers have had to slaughter the animals on the farm and deliver them to biogas plants for gasification. However, the producers’ association, GalloCircle, has recently contracted a German slaughterhouse to process end-of-lay chickens into meat. As a consequence, an increasing number of these animals are now transported abroad. The purpose of this paper is to compare the two chains from a utilitarian perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

An interview with a central actor is analyzed by objective hermeneutics. In addition, a utilitarian comparison of the two chains is carried out.

Findings

The interview with a core stakeholder reveals that he considers this to be worse for both the animals and the farmers. The system change has been motivated by the (either merely perceived or actual) ethical preferences of consumers. The authors ethical evaluation of the system change shows, however, that highly controversial assumptions would need to be made in order to justify it. The authors doubt that the (alleged) consumer preferences are based on a proper ethical analysis of the two options.

Practical implications

The authors make a case for rationally reconsidering the choice of sending the chickens abroad.

Originality/value

The paper shows that utilitarian analysis is useful to consciously choose between different value chains.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 46 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 January 2017

Klaus Mittenzwei and Stefan Mann

Outside farming, pluriactivity is generally considered as undesirable, whereas agricultural economists tend to recommend part-time farming. This contradiction is to be…

Abstract

Purpose

Outside farming, pluriactivity is generally considered as undesirable, whereas agricultural economists tend to recommend part-time farming. This contradiction is to be solved. The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

Linking tax-payer and statistical farm-level data from Norway, the authors tested how profitable part-time farming is for Norwegian farm households.

Findings

The analysis showed that concentrating on either working on-farm or off-farm generates a higher household income than combining the two.

Practical implications

Part-time farming may be a lifestyle decision, but apparently is not economically optimal for most farms.

Originality/value

The contribution solves an apparent contradiction between the discourses inside and outside agriculture.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 44 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 October 2016

Stefan Mann and Daniel Erdin

The difference between quality grades and quality labels is that the latter are awarded on the basis of production processes, whilst the former are conferred on the…

Abstract

Purpose

The difference between quality grades and quality labels is that the latter are awarded on the basis of production processes, whilst the former are conferred on the strength of the actual production results. In the course of a de-ideologisation of society, it might be assumed that the price differences between quality grades would grow larger and larger, while those between quality labels would tend to shrink. The purpose of this paper is to develop and test this hypothesis.

Design/methodology/approach

Regressions for the calf market on the one hand and for 4,180 cattle-market data sets on the other are run with Stata.

Findings

The results largely confirm the rising importance of grades between 2000 and 2014. In the period under consideration, a price spread occurs between the individual grades of the Swiss grading system, whilst the surcharge for organic products shrinks. No price discrimination is identified a priori for conventional labels.

Practical implications

The focus of both chain management and policy makers should be put on effective grading systems rather than on labelling production methods.

Originality/value

This is the first econometrical comparison of the price effect of both grades and labels.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 33 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 January 2022

Stefan Mann

The market for slaves is one of the few cases where trade is banned for moral reasons in every country. While animal activists often link animal production to slavery…

Abstract

Purpose

The market for slaves is one of the few cases where trade is banned for moral reasons in every country. While animal activists often link animal production to slavery, they fail to answer the question about why animal production persists in every country, while slavery is banned everywhere.

Design/methodology/approach

The purpose of this paper is to show both parallels and differences between slavery and animal production, both from a historic and systematic perspective.

Findings

It can be shown that the claim about the many philosophical parallels between slavery and animal production is justified, but that the political economy between the cases differs strongly, particularly regarding the distribution of benefits.

Practical implications

The paper argues that the food industry will play a decisive role in the future of animal production.

Social implications

The loss of jobs would certainly be an issue if animal production was banned, whereas the labor market effects of abolition were more complex.

Originality/value

While the comparison is not new, this is the first holistic evaluation of it.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 49 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 March 2022

Christian Ritzel and Stefan Mann

While it is incontestable that eating in restaurants leads to a higher energy intake than eating at home, this paper explores the even more environmentally relevant…

Abstract

Purpose

While it is incontestable that eating in restaurants leads to a higher energy intake than eating at home, this paper explores the even more environmentally relevant connection between meat intake and the location of eating.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on secondary data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the authors apply a latent class model (LCM), combining latent profile analysis (LPA) and regression analysis. Different (latent) consumer classes are modeled based (1) on share of meat consumption and (2) share of eating out by means of LPA, while class-specific socio-demographic characteristics are estimated by means of ordered logistic regression.

Findings

Results of the LPA reveal four (latent) consumer classes with regard to the share of meat consumption and the share of eating out. One class consists mostly of male meat lovers with a high share of eating out, which, however, only represents 7% of the sample. A much larger class represents an affluent social group that consumes the majority of food outside of the home but does not consume significantly more meat than the large group of moderates who mostly eat at home. The fourth class mostly consists of children with a very low intake of meat.

Originality/value

By applying a LCM, the authors shed some light on the relation between meat consumption and eating out. The authors demonstrated that commonly assumed relations, such as men eating more meat than women, do not necessarily apply. Similar findings apply to factors potentially influencing meat consumption, such as education, marital status and income.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 March 2022

Kandas Cloete, Stefan Mann and Marion Delport

Among the many things that land reform in South Africa suffers from is the lack of scientific attention paid to the willingness of commercial producers to exit or…

Abstract

Purpose

Among the many things that land reform in South Africa suffers from is the lack of scientific attention paid to the willingness of commercial producers to exit or contract. This research aims to contribute to literature on this phenomenon.

Design/methodology/approach

The interplay between the business confidence and the opportunity costs of a farming enterprise represented in a survey sample of 450 commercial farm owners is investigated, paying special attention to owners who want to, but cannot exit.

Findings

The regression analysis suggests that both forces have a strong influence on structural change, as they depict the rather complex interplay between the two main factors that may keep farms in business, one of which is a positive business climate and the other the capital invested. A subsequent cluster analysis indicates that there is a major cluster of producers who are pessimistic about the prospects of their farming business, but who are unable or unwilling to leave their farms.

Research limitations/implications

A limitation of our study is the fairly small sample size (91 exiters in the sample), so caution is advised in generalising the results. Another limitation is the overrepresentation of the Western Cape.

Practical implications

It is likely that the productivity of South African agriculture could improve if some of these producers caught in the “system” could leave farming to create new opportunities for entrepreneurial entrants.

Originality/value

The importance of a captured state has been neglected both in theoretical frameworks and in practical concepts of commercial agriculture in South Africa.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 49 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 March 2020

Stefan Mann and Raluca Necula

Per capita meat consumption in Switzerland has been rather consistent for decades, although the percentage of vegetarians has risen to 14 per cent according to a recent…

Abstract

Purpose

Per capita meat consumption in Switzerland has been rather consistent for decades, although the percentage of vegetarians has risen to 14 per cent according to a recent survey. This study tries to resolve this apparent contradiction

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on household consumption data from Switzerland and focuses on the distribution of consumption rather than on average amounts, using descriptive statistics and a mixed-effects model which explains the coefficient of variation between single consumer consumption amounts.

Findings

Vegetarianism and veganism are not only overestimated through surveys but also associated with a segment of the population that is consuming increasing amounts of meat. This dual development leads to a stable per capita meat consumption.

Originality/value

Our results indicate that greater scientific attention should be paid to this segment of heavy meat eaters.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 122 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 September 2017

Christian Ritzel, Andreas Kohler and Stefan Mann

The purpose of this article is to provide empirical evidence about the potential positive effects of switching from given non-reciprocal trade preferences granted under…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to provide empirical evidence about the potential positive effects of switching from given non-reciprocal trade preferences granted under the Swiss Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) for developing countries (DCs) to negotiated reciprocal trade preferences under a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

Design/methodology/approach

In a case study of Tunisia’s exports to Switzerland, the authors apply methods of matching econometrics, namely, Propensity-Score Matching and Nearest-Neighbor Matching. Hereby, they are able to identify the average treatment effect on the treated.

Findings

Overall preferential exports increased by 125 per cent after the entry into force of the FTA in 2005 until the end of the observation period in 2011. Additionally, an analysis of the agro-food and textile sectors likewise indicate boosting preferential exports in the amount of 100 per cent.

Research limitations/implications

Case studies in this vein have their disadvantages. The greatest disadvantage is the lack of generalization. In contrast to studies estimating the potential effects of an FTA for several countries, the authors are not able to generalize their results based on a single case.

Practical implications

Because trade preferences under the Swiss GSP are offered to the country group of DCs as a whole, non-reciprocal trade preferences are not tailored to the export structure of a particular DC. By switching from non-reciprocal to negotiated reciprocal trade preferences, DCs such as Tunisia expect to negotiate terms which are tailored to their export structure as well as better conditions than competitors from countries which are still beneficiaries of the GSP.

Originality/value

To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to investigate explicitly the switch from non-reciprocal to reciprocal trade preferences using econometric matching techniques.

Details

International Journal of Development Issues, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1446-8956

Keywords

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