Journal

Korea Agricultural Economics Association

Title Estimating the Impact of Fine Dust Particles on the Demand for Pork Belly
Author Jingyu Kang, Kwansoo Kim
Paper Information Vol.61 No.4 (2020-12) Page 27~45
File KJAE(2020-Vol61No04)-Korean-02.pdf
Abstract Since 2014, fine dust particles have emerged as one of major social issues in South Korea.
The density of fine dust has been announced in the weather forecast since then, and the number
of related media reports has rapidly increased. As the hazard of fine dust has been recognized,
comfort food consumption has begun in order to reduce anxiety. Pork belly is a typical comfort
food due to the myth that the fat in it helps release fine dust. The research question is how
consumption behavior changes, as the fine dust problem is taken seriously under condition that
a groundless belief, that pork belly is effective in getting fine dust out of the body, is widespread.
It is assumed that the more seriously the problem is taken, the more pork belly consumption
occurs. The Almost Ideal Demand System (AIDS) is used to test the hypothesis. The relationship
between pork belly consumption and the density of fine dust was previously analyzed. This study
additionally finds the effect of the number of media reports regarding fine dust particles. Note
that fine dust has been recognized as a serious problem since 2014, when related reports have
remarkably increased. Using the AIDS model, we examined how the expenditure share of pork
belly, pork excluding pork belly, beef, chicken, or other meat depends on explanatory variables
such as the price of each item, the density of fine dust, and the proportion of news reports. We
found that, when the ratio of related reports increases, the expenditure share of pork belly grows.
An elasticity analysis shows that consumption of pork belly increases, as fine dust-related reports
ratio is higher. When the ratio increases by 10%, consumption of pork belly increases by 0.33%.
This phenomenon is based on the myth, which people believe in that pork belly is effective in
getting fine dust out of the body. The problem is that belief lacks scientific evidence. If consumption
of pork belly increases because of inaccurate information, consumers may fail to achieve maximum
utility.