Household demand elasticities for meat products in Uruguay

Bruno A. Lanfranco, Catalina Rava


This article analyzed the demand for meats at household level over the past decade in Uruguay, a country that exhibits a very high per capita consumption of these products. In particular, the consumption of beef is one of the highest in the world and only comparable to Argentina. The analysis involved a two-step estimation of an incomplete system of censored demand equations using household data from the last available national income and expenditure survey (2005/06). Thirteen meat products were included in the analysis: six broad beef products (deboned hindquarter cuts, bone-in hindquarter cuts, ground beef, rib plate, bone-in forequarter cuts, and other beef cuts), four products from other meats (sheep, pork, poultry, and fish), and three generic mixed-meat products. A complete set of short-term income, own-price and cross-price elasticities were computed and reported along with their 90% confidence intervals (CI). The results were consistent with both economic theory and empirical evidence as well as with the expected behavior, considering the relevance of these products, particularly beef, in the diet of Uruguayan consumers. All meat items were necessary goods and evidenced income-inelastic responses, which was expected given their high consumption level. All meats behaved as normal goods although exhibiting different reactions to changes in price. In general, beef cuts were more price elastic than other more broadly defined products. The more specific and disaggregated the meat product the higher its corresponding direct price elasticity. The complement/substitute relationships found in this study were highly depended on the specific product combinations.


food; consumption; expenditures; incomplete systems; two-step estimation

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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2014121-4615