Publication Date

7-2008

Series Number

08-WP 474

Abstract

This study characterizes the household food-away-from-home (FAFH) expenditure pattern in Egypt. Specifically, a standard Tobit model was estimated to quantify the responsiveness of Egyptian household FAFH expenditures to changes in their income and selected household demographic characteristics.

We found that the proportion of households with a positive FAFH expenditure is small, at 36% to 38% of the total number of households. These households spent 5% to 8% of their total expenditure on FAFH. Households that are located in urban areas, with more family members, and whose household head is young and male had generally higher levels of FAFH expenditure. The estimated conditional income elasticity is only 0.02, and the unconditional income elasticity is 0.52, suggesting that most of the growth in this sector will be driven by new households participating for the first time in FAFH expenditures. These elasticity estimates are relatively low when compared to those of other countries. However, preliminary estimates from more recent data seem to suggest a higher income elasticity, which is consistent with the expansion of the sector of hotels, restaurants, and other institutions in Egypt.

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