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Gayaneh Kyureghian

ALISS Nutrition and Social Sciences, Ivry-sur-Seine

The food consumption patterns of the aging population in France

Annual meeting: 2017

Fields-Topics: P7 Economics, Social Sciences

Type of talk: Fellows Speed Presentation

The food consumption patterns of the aging population in France


My research interests lay in economics of aging, household and consumer economics, food systems, food policy, applied econometrics. My education background is largely in economics. I received my Bachelor’s degree in economics from the Institute of National Economy, Yerevan Armenia. I have an MBA degree in finance from the American University of Armenia, Yerevan Armenia, and Master’s degree in Economics from Virginia Tech. I received my doctoral degree in agricultural economics from Texas A&M in 2009. Before coming to France in the frame of an AgreenSkills fellowhip, I was assistant professor in Korea University, Seoul, Korea, and University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA. I taught a number of courses, both undergraduate and graduate level, in microeconomics, macroeconomics, public economics, public and welfare economics, economics of technology, as well as managerial economics and marketing.


The food consumption patterns of the aging population in France

The aging population is a major demographic change documented in Europe, North America and the rest of the developed countries. Standard economic theory postulates that demographic changes can be preference and demand shifters. It is thus likely that the aging of population may have profound impact on food demand and its composition. As households age, their availability of time and market goods change. For example, upon retirement, the households have reduced income, but they have more time available for various activities. As straightforward as it sounds in theory, it is, however, not so straightforward to test this theory as the effect of aging is confounding by myriad of other changes, including but not limited to, changes in household composition (becoming empty nests and demanding less food), physical and mental health (demanding specific foods or food attributes), income status (decrease of both absolute and disposable income for food due to predictable (retirement) and unpredictable income shocks), opportunity cost of time (more time available for non-work related activities, such as home meal preparation and, therefore, demanding more ingredient food as opposed to more value added foods), etc. The objective of our research is to estimate life-cycle evolution of food purchases in France, in particular the quantitative, qualitative and structural changes in food demand as households’ age. We seek to investigate the life-cycle dynamics of the demand quantities of separate food groups and structural composition of food demand by various degrees of value added. We incorporate home food production as opposed to food purchase only - mainstream so far in the literature.

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