Over many years the neoclassical theory has provided a model on consumer behaviour that has allowed economists to study the market dynamics. Nevertheless, in this context, characterized by increasing complexity, a set of variables not covered by the neoclassical model, has become relevant. It is important to consider that there are several limitations to the rationality of economic behaviour, as imperfect and asymmetric information are standard examples of market failure. An uninformed consumer, indeed, is not able to optimize his preferences and could make unhealthy choices. In relation with these studies, it is important, on one hand, add a clear message on food packaging and, on the other hand, to highly educate consumer to understand the nutritional information and to limit unhealthy choices (Drichoutis et al. 2005 and 2008). Several studies showed that inadequate information could lead consumers to make uninformed choices and so could favour an increase of obesity. The difficulty to access to information and the consequent asymmetric information are examples of market failure, as well as the difficulty to access to shops. Related to this concept, it was introduced the term “food desert”, used to describe urban areas where it is difficult to buy certain food products, necessary for a healthy diet, at a reasonable price (Wrigley, 2000, Reisig et al., 2000, Guy et al., 2004). Moreover, it was found that some foods are less available in lower income areas. There is also a difference in the foods availability related to the sale point; indeed the largest shops usually have a high availability of these products and lower prices. The first purpose of this work is to analise the role of information in the process of allocation of free time. The second aim is to evaluate if a high level of knowledge about food products is linked with a lower possibility to incur in condition of overweight and obesity. The third purpose of the work is to examine the relationship between obesity rates and the kind of food shops, by studying the criteria used by consumers in choosing the store. The analysis focuses on the Italian population, though the gap in term of socio-economic conditions between the region of Northern and Southern Italy could have effect on the results of the study. For this reason, empirical investigation takes into account one region of the North and one of the South of Italy. The study was conducted through an empirical analysis and the sample is composed by 300 Italian consumers, 150 resident in Lombardy, and 150 in Puglia. The sampling unit is represented by the places of purchase divided into little shops and big retailers. For larger retailers, supermarkets and hypermarkets were selected, whereas, for little shops, greengroceries, butcher shops and dairies were included. For each type of these retailers the location of each was extracted. The questionnaire is composed by 80 questions. According to recent economic literature concerning consumers, for testing the first purpose we utilised the section of the questionnaire regarding the allocation of time and the occupation. For the second aim, we used the part concerning nutritional knowledge and diet quality and, for the third aim, a section with the self-evaluation of health status, fitness activity, transports used for travels, and the part regarding the factors affecting the choice of the store. The work is organized as follows: the first chapter shows some of the most important literature contributions concerning consumer’s behaviour. The second chapter introduces the possible situations of market failures and the strategies for public intervention. The third chapter describes the methodology and the empirical model utilized, whereas the fourth and the fifth chapters report the results of the empirical analysis; in the sixth chapter concluding remarks are set down. With regard to socio-demographic variables, the results showed, in line with data from Istat, a different distribution between Puglia and Lombardy in terms of BMI. Indeed, in the Southern region rates of obesity are found higher than in the North. Furthermore, the results highlight that disadvantaged social categories such as elderly people and those with a low level of education and low food knowledge are more susceptible to the problem of overweight and obesity. Concerning the first purpose, the work showed that time constraints affect the possibility to read the labelling; indeed, the kind of job and the lack of flexibility affect the time spent on this activity. Referring to second aim, on the relationship between obesity and information, the analysis revealed that the condition of overweight or obesity is determined by a lack of information, causing unhealthy choices. Regarding the third objective of the survey, in particular the accessibility of shops, the results showed that the distance and the health condition can lead the possibility to go to hypermarkets and that the principal determinants that affect the choice of the shops are quality and price of food products. A policy implication of the analysis, to limit the spread of obesity, could lie in programs aimed at improving health and food awareness and focused on the minority groups. On the other hand programs aimed at encourage the fruit and vegetable consumption.
|Titolo:||OBESITÀ E MERCATO AGRO-ALIMENTARE: IL RUOLO DELL'INFORMAZIONE E DEI LUOGHI DI ACQUISTO NEL DUALISMO NORD- SUD IN ITALIA|
|Data di pubblicazione:||17-dic-2010|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore AGR/01 - Economia ed Estimo Rurale|
|Citazione:||OBESITÀ E MERCATO AGRO-ALIMENTARE: IL RUOLO DELL'INFORMAZIONE E DEI LUOGHI DI ACQUISTO NEL DUALISMO NORD- SUD IN ITALIA ; tutor: Alessandro Banterle ; co-tutor: Mario Mazzocchi. - Milano : Università degli studi di Milano. DIPARTIMENTO DI ECONOMIA E POLITICA AGRARIA AGRO-ALIMENTARE E AMBIENTALE, 2010 Dec 17. ((23. ciclo, Anno Accademico 2010.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Tesi di dottorato|