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Does Air Pollution Affect Food Consumption


Marketing Seminar2017-21

Topic: Does Air Pollution Affect Food Consumption

Speaker: Han Zhang, Guanghua School of ManagementPeking University.

Time: Wednesday, 18 October, 13:30-15:00

Location: Room K01, Guanghua Building 2


This paper uses data from a Chinese online grocery store to examine changes in food sales under air pollution. We find that 100 increases in Air Quality Index (AQI) increases the sales of the grocery store by 5%. This effect is concave, implying that when AQI is low, an increase in AQI has a relatively larger impact on food sales. With regard to the sources of sales increase, our result suggests that consumers tend to upgrade their purchase to more expensive food items in polluted days. We conjecture that the salience of health concerns (referred to as the health-saliency mechanism) leads consumers to buy more healthy and expensive food. Further analysis of sales for organic food confirms our conjecture. Besides, lab experiment is designed to test our hypothesis.


Han Zhang, PhD candidate at Marketing Department, Guanghua School of Management, Peking University. He is interested in social network, air pollution, share economy and game market.

Your participation is warmly welcomed!



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