This paper analyses the changes in food expenditure patterns over time in Egypt with special emphasis on the differences between urban and rural sectors. Engel curves for food groups are estimated by using double-log function type. The method used for estimating regression equations is the Weighted Least Squares (WLS). Data used in the study are obtained from the Household, Income, Expenditure, and Consumption Survey (HIECS) conducted by the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) of Egypt for five survey periods from 1990/1991 to 2009/2010. Food consumption expenditure patterns have changed over the five conseculative survey periods as a result of economic changes. Estimated expenditure elasticities for food groups are positive and less than one except for fish, milk-eggs, and fruits, as they moved up to the necessity commodities in 2009/2010. The estimated expenditure elasticities for food groups have decreased significantly over the time. There are statistically significant variations between the urban and rural expenditure elasticity of most food commodities, except for cereals, milk-eggs, fruits, and beverages. Elasticities tend to be higher in rural areas than urban ones. The expenditure elasticities of food groups are lower at high-income groups than low-income ones. These results provide the guideline for future policy implication in respect of the demand management and food consumption in Egypt.
Key words: Food consumption expenditure, Engel curves, expenditure elasticity, Egypt.
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