ESSAYS ON FOOD CONSUMPTION AND FRUIT MARKETING
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This dissertation consists of three independent papers on food economics concerning food consumption and nutrition intake, food market structure and promotion programs, and bearing acreage of perennial tree fruit. The first paper explores the link between human food consumption, human nutritional status and livestock health. A Quadratic Almost Ideal Demand System is adopted with fourteen food equations. The results demonstrate that households’ calorie and macronutrient intake from animal source foods decrease when their livestock are less healthy. The second paper evaluates the effectiveness of generic advertising with imperfectly competitive downstream markets. The theoretical and the empirical results show that the market power possessed by pear canners could reduce growers' net return from advertising. The third paper models the economic substitution among perennial tree fruit by including lagged prices and yields of multiple fruit species explicitly in the bearing acreage response model. A system of equations is estimated by generalized method of moments and the results demonstrate that the inclusion of substitutes provides a more complete model to predict producers' behavior. The price and substitution elasticities estimated suggest that bearing acreages are price inelastic and there is a significant substitution between crops.