, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 249-273

Effects of health information on Nordic meat and fish demand

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Increasing public concerns about health risks associated with dietary intakes of cholesterol are expected to have significant impacts on the demand for foods with high fat content. This paper investigates how information about cholesterol, as measured by two newly constructed indices based on published medical research, has affected the demand for meats (beef, chicken and pork) and fish in the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden). To compare the effects of information across countries and over time, the demand equations for all the countries are estimated within one system, and a complete set of price and expenditure elasticities is estimated. Our findings suggest that health information has affected consumption in a healthy way in all countries studied except for Denmark. We find positive effects on the demand for chicken in Finland, Norway and Sweden and for fish in Finland and Sweden. A negative effect on the demand for beef in Sweden also is found.

First version received: May 2001/Final version received: December 2001
ID="*"  The authors would like to thank Wen S. Chern and Bjørn Slåen for their assistance in the construction of the health information indices. The suggestions of two anonymous referees have also been of great assistance. The EU (contract FAIRS-CT97-3373) and the Research Council of Norway (grant no. 134018/110) provided financial support for this research.”