Departmental Bulletin Paper At-home Rice Consumption in Japan : Socio-demographic Analyses

Mori, Hiroshi  ,  Saegusa, Yoshiharu

50 ( 2 )  , pp.99 - 137 , 2015-11-30 , 専修大学経済学会
Cereals, potatoes, and beans were the major components of Japanese food diets, accounting for nearly three fourths of total caloric intakes in 1960, when Japan's economy had already recovered completely from the WWII devastation. Rice alone accounted for 48.3% of all foods in terms of caloric intake. The share rapidly declined to 25.9% in 1990, and gradually fell to 22.6% in 2012 during the decades after the economic bubble burst in 1991. Explaining this dietary transition is important to understanding Japan's agriculture and food situation, and may add insights about dietary changes in other countries.In this article, changes in at-home rice consumption are analyzed from the age/cohort perspectives, i.e., cohort tables, showing individual consumption by age groups for each year from 1980 to 2014 are decomposed, using a Bayesian cohort model ; the period effects derived are regressed against economic variables to determine demand elasticities free from the demographic factors ; the same cohort tables are decomposed by augmented cohort models to determine economic demand elasticities on top of age, period, and cohort effects in one-step. To supplement the study, a demand system, composed of rice, bread, meat, and fish, is analyzed with an AIDS model, using the period effects estimated for these four commodities individually. Our findings suggest that it may not be easy to attribute steady and drastic decreases in at-home rice consumption to the economic variables--prices of rice and conceivably competitive products, such as bread, meat, and fish, etc.-- even after age and cohort effects are accounted for.

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