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Economics Essay

1108 words - 5 pages

Running Header: Consumption Patterns and Definitions

Economics
Economics is the study of how human beings coordinate their wants and desires, given the decision-making mechanisms, social customs, and political realities of the society. In reference to economics coordination refers to how three central problems facing any economy are solved. They are:
1. What, and how much, to produce.
2. How to produce it.
3. For whom to produce it.
Microeconomics
The economic theory is divided into two parts microeconomics and macroeconomics. Microeconomics is the study of how individual choice is influenced by economic forces. Some studies include pricing ...view middle of the document...

4. Expectations- If one expects a raise in income soon, they may start spending more money now.
5. Taxes and Subsidies- taxes levied on consumers increase the cost of goods to consumers and reduce demand for those goods. Subsidies to consumers have the opposite effect.
Some similar factors of demand also lead to a change in supply. They are:
1. Price of inputs- supply falls when the price of inputs rises.
2. Technology- some advances in technology can increase supply.
3. Expectations- people tend to stock up on items now if they believe an item will increase in price later.
4. Taxes and Subsidies- taxes on suppliers reduce supply and subsidies increase supply (McCarthy & Perreault, 2004).
Global Meat Consumption and Trade
Developments in consumption and production in the world’s major producing and consuming regions have changed drastically over the last 20 years. Government regulations, changes in lifestyles and incomes, and attitudes about the relationship of meat consumption to health are some factors that lead to a change in the consumption of meat and poultry.
In some countries poultry has become less expensive to the consumer compared to other meats. This increase is due to a greater feed efficiency, with a shorter period required for the production of poultry. Even though there is an increase on poultry production it only shares less than 25% of production. Pork is number one at 41% and beef follows with 31% of the global meat production (BNET, 1992).
If meat prices were to remain constant, consumption patterns would change with current trends in ones income and lifestyle, and developments in production, processing, and distribution. The rise in income increases and changes consumers’ demands for certain types of meats. More expensive meats or cuts of meat become affordable at higher incomes.
Consumers with reduced or lower incomes may lower their meat consumption, or start purchasing less expensive meats. Back in the 1980’s when oil prices collapsed, meat consumption had declined in the Middle East, and in Mexico. Mexicans reduced the intake of beef and pork and switched to lower priced poultry. Over the years, red meat consumption has gone back up.
Lifestyle Changes
Lifestyle changes and trade patterns have affected consumption. As consumer’s desire food away from home, the market for fast foods like fried chicken and burgers has increased. In wealthier countries, preferences have changed from large cuts of roasts, toward foods that are simple to prepare, like steaks, chops, and deboned chicken...

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