By Jeanne Yacoubou, MS
The Vegetarian Resource
Group received an email inquiry in May 2020 from a PhD student in Food,
Agriculture & Resource Economics. He asked: “…In preparing for a PhD next
year, I’m working on research around the economic impacts of plant-based diets,
e.g., consumption, production, externalities, trends, etc. Would you
have any suggestions for papers or people in this area? Insight greatly
The VRG responds:
There has been a significant
increase in the popularity of plant-based diets during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.
Many consumers are trending away from meat, partly due to a perceived shortage of
General Information on
Here are recent articles on
this phenomenon from Bloomberg
Also for background, the
World Economic Forum (WEF) published a 2018 article that contains several links to important
studies on plant-based economics.
The WEF also explores the
category it calls Agriculture,
Food, and Beverage Industries with extensive listings of resources and
Vegan Business Resource
For a business-focused look,
Vegconomist is a
good place to start.
Historical Reference on
The academic journal titled Ecological
Economics is a good source. You will find many research articles dealing
with the types of issues in plant-based economics that you’re analyzing.
Here is a
scholarly paper by Carlsson-Kanyama, et al., titled “Food and life
cycle energy inputs: consequences of diet and ways to increase efficiency” that
provides historical perspective.
Recent Economics Research
on Plant-Based Diets
article written by M. Springmann, et al., titled “Analysis and
valuation of the health and climate change cobenefits of dietary change”
published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science,
considers economic aspects, as well health and environmental impacts, of
Here are some other
scholarly articles, all by the same research team:
Lusk & Norwood (2009) Some
economic benefits and costs of vegetarianism published in Agricultural
and Resource Economics Review.
In 2012, Lusk & Norwood
altruism and the economics of animal welfare in the European Review of
Along with other researchers, Lusk &
Norwood published a 2019 study in the Journal of Behavioral and Experimental
Economics titled An experiment on the vote-buy gap with application to cage-free
This information may also be of interest.