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Religion, food choices, and demand seasonality : evidence from the Ethiopian milk market

Eline D'Haene (UGent) , Sam Desiere, Marijke D'Haese (UGent) , Wim Verbeke (UGent) and Koen Schoors (UGent)
(2019) FOODS. 8(5).
Author
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Abstract
The impact of religious behavior on food systems in developing economies has been understated in scholarly studies. With its different Christian, Islamic, and traditional faiths, Ethiopia emerges as a suitable country to investigate the impact of religious practices on demand. The inclusion of livestock products in Ethiopian diets is extremely low, even by African standards, a phenomenon often explained by supply and marketing problems combined with low income levels. We deviate from this dominant narrative and single out the impact of religion. We show how fasting practices of Orthodox Christians, the largest religious group, affect milk intake decisions and channels through which consumed milk is sourced. Employing country-wide data collected by the Living Standards Measurement Studies, we find, as expected, that Orthodox fasting adversely affects milk consumption and decreases the share of milk sourced from own production in Orthodox households, an effect we quantify in this paper. Moreover, we observe spillover effects of Orthodox fasting on other religious groups in dominant Orthodox localities. Our findings improve understanding of the broader societal implication of religiously inspired consumption rituals and underscore the challenges resulting from religion-induced demand cycles to design policies that aim at developing the livestock sector.
Keywords
milk intake, consumers, demand seasonality, religion, Ethiopia, BODY-COMPOSITION, RAMADAN, CONSUMPTION, DIVERSITY, HEALTH, WILLINGNESS, PERFORMANCE, COUNTRIES, CONSUMERS, PATTERNS

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
D’Haene, Eline et al. “Religion, Food Choices, and Demand Seasonality : Evidence from the Ethiopian Milk Market.” FOODS 8.5 (2019): n. pag. Print.
APA
D’Haene, E., Desiere, S., D’Haese, M., Verbeke, W., & Schoors, K. (2019). Religion, food choices, and demand seasonality : evidence from the Ethiopian milk market. FOODS, 8(5).
Chicago author-date
D’Haene, Eline, Sam Desiere, Marijke D’Haese, Wim Verbeke, and Koen Schoors. 2019. “Religion, Food Choices, and Demand Seasonality : Evidence from the Ethiopian Milk Market.” Foods 8 (5).
Chicago author-date (all authors)
D’Haene, Eline, Sam Desiere, Marijke D’Haese, Wim Verbeke, and Koen Schoors. 2019. “Religion, Food Choices, and Demand Seasonality : Evidence from the Ethiopian Milk Market.” Foods 8 (5).
Vancouver
1.
D’Haene E, Desiere S, D’Haese M, Verbeke W, Schoors K. Religion, food choices, and demand seasonality : evidence from the Ethiopian milk market. FOODS. 2019;8(5).
IEEE
[1]
E. D’Haene, S. Desiere, M. D’Haese, W. Verbeke, and K. Schoors, “Religion, food choices, and demand seasonality : evidence from the Ethiopian milk market,” FOODS, vol. 8, no. 5, 2019.
@article{8620430,
  abstract     = {The impact of religious behavior on food systems in developing economies has been understated in scholarly studies. With its different Christian, Islamic, and traditional faiths, Ethiopia emerges as a suitable country to investigate the impact of religious practices on demand. The inclusion of livestock products in Ethiopian diets is extremely low, even by African standards, a phenomenon often explained by supply and marketing problems combined with low income levels. We deviate from this dominant narrative and single out the impact of religion. We show how fasting practices of Orthodox Christians, the largest religious group, affect milk intake decisions and channels through which consumed milk is sourced. Employing country-wide data collected by the Living Standards Measurement Studies, we find, as expected, that Orthodox fasting adversely affects milk consumption and decreases the share of milk sourced from own production in Orthodox households, an effect we quantify in this paper. Moreover, we observe spillover effects of Orthodox fasting on other religious groups in dominant Orthodox localities. Our findings improve understanding of the broader societal implication of religiously inspired consumption rituals and underscore the challenges resulting from religion-induced demand cycles to design policies that aim at developing the livestock sector.},
  articleno    = {167},
  author       = {D'Haene, Eline and Desiere, Sam and D'Haese, Marijke and Verbeke, Wim and Schoors, Koen},
  issn         = {2304-8158},
  journal      = {FOODS},
  keywords     = {milk intake,consumers,demand seasonality,religion,Ethiopia,BODY-COMPOSITION,RAMADAN,CONSUMPTION,DIVERSITY,HEALTH,WILLINGNESS,PERFORMANCE,COUNTRIES,CONSUMERS,PATTERNS},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {21},
  title        = {Religion, food choices, and demand seasonality : evidence from the Ethiopian milk market},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/foods8050167},
  volume       = {8},
  year         = {2019},
}

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