Religion, Food Choices, and Demand Seasonality: Evidence from the Ethiopian Milk Market
AbstractThe 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. View Full-Text
- Supplementary File 1:
PDF-Document (PDF, 171 KB)
Share & Cite This Article
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, 167.
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):167.Chicago/Turabian Style
D’Haene, Eline; Desiere, Sam; D’Haese, Marijke; Verbeke, Wim; Schoors, Koen. 2019. "Religion, Food Choices, and Demand Seasonality: Evidence from the Ethiopian Milk Market." Foods 8, no. 5: 167.
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.