Income and Food Consumption Patterns

Student Classification


Faculty Mentor

Dr. Lyubov Kurkalova



Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2019


Income and Food Consumption Patterns Literature on demand systems of food consumption shows that on average an increase in income results in an increase of food consumed but a decrease in the percentage of income spent on food. This research focuses on the impact of income on food consumption patterns. The specific objectives for this research are as follows: 1) Summarize the consumption patterns for different income class brackets; 2) Analyze the effect of socio-cultural backgrounds of individuals on their food demand patterns; and Develop a linear regression model for explaining observed food consumption patterns as a function of the income class of individual and other variables .We use the quarterly, 2015-2018 Consumer Expenditure Surveys Public-Use Microdata provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and focus on 3 main aspects of food consumption: food at home, food away from home, and total food consumption. The regression results show that higher income individuals are more likely to spend approximately $50 more on food per week, when compared to the lowest income class. We do find a limited effect of race on total food expenditures, which opens the door for future research in that area. Higher education did not show a statistically significant impact on any of the three models (food away from home, food at home, food total).

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