Urban Demand for Edible Oils and Fats in China: Evidence from Household Survey Data

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2000-08-01
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Fang, Cheng
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Beghin, John
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Center for Agricultural and Rural Development

The Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) conducts innovative public policy and economic research on agricultural, environmental, and food issues. CARD uniquely combines academic excellence with engagement and anticipatory thinking to inform and benefit society.

CARD researchers develop and apply economic theory, quantitative methods, and interdisciplinary approaches to create relevant knowledge. Communication efforts target state and federal policymakers; the research community; agricultural, food, and environmental groups; individual decision-makers; and international audiences.

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Using urban household-level survey data from 1992 to 1998, we provide estimates of final demand for edible vegetable oils and animal fats in three regions of China based on the LinQuad incomplete demand system. For each region, the demand for the major ìstapleî oil is price inelastic. The demand for ìcondimentî or flavoring oils is more price responsive. All edible oils and fats have positive income elasticity, but smaller than one. Using the LinQuad parameter estimates, we provide exact measures of urban consumer welfare losses associated with trade restrictions on vegetable oil imports. Consumers suffer a significant welfare loss of the order of $ 392 million (1998 dollars).

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