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Public Health authorities are concerned about the increasing prevalence of food-related chronic diseases (diabetes, obesity, some cancers, etc.). Public interventions to curb this trend often take the form of information campaigns or changes in relative prices (e.g. specific subsidies applied to healthy food or taxes to unhealthy food). The project “Measuring the Impact of Nutritional Policies Targeting Changes in Consumers’ Behaviors and Quality of Foods” focuses on the evaluation of two nutritional policy studies. A first study measures the impact of the French 5-a-day information campaign on households’ fruit and vegetables purchases. Information campaigns are a commonly-used policy since they are capable of reaching a large number of people with a relatively low cost per capita, as well as helping to inform the population and avoid unintended substitution with other food products. Numerous countries are implementing or considering nutritional taxes on food, especially sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB). A second study analyses how quality effects combine with quantity effects in consumer reactions to SSB taxes. While previous research has shown the relevance of potential substitutions between different types of beverages or other sweet foods, little attention has been paid to the substitutions within sugar-sweetened beverage categories. In fact, we show that the latter also need to be taken into account, since people are able to shift from higher to lower quality within the same category of sugar-sweetened beverages. Both studies should soon lead to international publications participating in the policy debate on nutritional policies.
I have had three years’ professional experience at Banco Bilbao Viscaya Argentaria (BBVA Chile) as a credit analyst for Corporate Agribusiness companies, after which, I obtained a master’s degree in Agricultural Economics at Texas A&M University, USA. In 2012, I finished my doctorate in Management (Applied Economics) at the University of Kent, UK, where I studied the impact of information on household behaviour. I used the Living Costs and Food Survey from the Office for National Statistics to measure the impact of child obesity news on UK household expenditure, with special emphasis on food expenditure. Since then, I have also conducted research as part of “Traceback”, an integrated project of the European Union Sixth Framework Program of Scientific and Technological Research. The project involved 28 partners from 11 countries (mainly European countries). My AgreenSkills postdoctoral fellowship helped me to further the research of my PhD dissertation in terms of taking into account food habits in informational campaigns and work with panel data models. I worked on measuring the impact of an information campaign to improve fruit and vegetable consumption and quantifying the relevance of taking quality choices into account when considering sugar-sweetened beverage taxes. Since 2017, I am an Assistant Professor at Department of Business and Economics at Universidad Central de Chile in Santiago and, more recently, Director of Ruta Saludable a non-profit organization that promotes healthy eating.
A. Silva and S. Dharmasena, 2016. Considering Seasonal Unit Root in a Demand System: An Empirical Approach. Empirical Economics, 51(4):1443-1463.
A. Silva, L. Higgins and M. Kulesz, 2016. Nutritional Effect of Child-Directed TV FoodAdvertising Regulation: Are We Rearranging the Deck Chairs on the Titanic?. Journal of the Association for Consumer Research.1(3): 422-444.
A. Silva, C. Caro and D. Magana, 2016. Household Food Security: Perceptions, Behavior and Nutritional Quality of Food Purchases. Journal of Economic Psychology. 55: 139-148.
A. Silva, R.M. Nayga, Jr., B.L. Campbell, and J.L. Park, 2012. Can Perceived Task Complexity Influence Cheap Talk’s Effectiveness in Reducing Hypothetical Bias in Stated Choice Studies? Applied Economics Letters 19(17): 1711-1714.
B.L. Campbell, R.M. Nayga, Jr., J.L. Park and A. Silva, 2011. Does the National School Lunch Program Improve Children’s Dietary Outcomes? American Journal of Agricultural Economics 94(4): 1099-1130.
3 year Scholarship European Union Traceback Project (Framework 6), 2008-2010
First Place in the Case Study Competition at the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association Conference. Parma, Italy. 23rd-26th June 2007 (3-person team)