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The Influence of Household Refrigerator Ownership on Diets in Vietnam

CSS Publication Number
Full Publication Date
December 2020

Refrigerator ownership accompanies socio-economic development, with the potential to change human diets. Household refrigerator ownership in Vietnam has increased from 13% to 59% between 2004-2014. This study estimates changes in food consumption and diet linkages with household refrigerator ownership in Vietnam, while controlling for socioeconomic variables. We use a two-step instrumental variable regression model on two panels of the Vietnam Household Living Standards Survey covering 2004-2014. Our study finds refrigerator ownership to be significantly associated with decreases in per-capita calorie intake over both periods. Refrigerator ownership may be connected with households substituting lower-nutrient foods with higher ones, with substantial decreases in starchy staple food consumption connected with refrigerator ownership in both panels. For both periods, refrigerator ownership is significantly connected with increased dairy consumption, potentially reflecting the refrigerator increasing a household’s ability to store dairy products.

Dharani Dhar Burra
Michel Simioni
Thi Huong Trinh
Thi Thanh Duong
Research Areas
Consumer Products & Packaging
Food & Agriculture
Food Systems and Consumer Products
diet, nutritional transition, refrigeration, sustainability, Vietnam
Publication Type
Journal Article
Digital Object Identifier
Full Citation
Heard, Brent R., Huong Trinh Thi, Dharani Dhar Burra, Martin C. Heller, Shelie A. Miller, Thanh Thi Duong, Michel Simioni, Andrew D. Jones (2020) “The Influence of Household Refrigerator Ownership on Diets in Vietnam.” Economics and Human Biology 39(100930): 1-13.