Household Production Theory and Models

Wallace E. Huffman

in The Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Food Consumption and Policy

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199569441
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Economics

Household Production Theory and Models

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  • Economics
  • Microeconomics
  • Agricultural, Environmental, and Natural Resource Economics



This article presents a brief review of empirical studies of food demand, especially linkages to household production theory and models. It discusses several types of microeconomic models of household decision-making and highlights their implications for empirical food demand studies. Relative to neoclassical demand functions, the models of productive household behavior that are developed in this article include the opportunity cost of time of adults, full-income budget constraint, and technical efficiency or technical change in household production as determinants of the demand for food and other inputs. The article also gives an empirical application of insights gained from household production theory for a household input demand system fitted to unique data on the US household sector over the post-Second World War period. Finally, it addresses how future food demand studies might build a stronger bridge to the models of household behavior including a production function and resource of human time of adult household members.

Keywords: food demand; household production; microeconomic models; decision-making; demand system

Article.  17892 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Microeconomics ; Agricultural, Environmental, and Natural Resource Economics

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