Iran has experienced high food prices in recent years. This paper examines the welfare impacts of rising major food groups' prices on Iranian urban households using Quadratic Almost Ideal Demand System (QUAIDS) approach. The elasticity coefficients derived from QUAIDS are used to estimate Compensated Variations (CV).The study uses Iranian Household Expenditure and Income Survey (HEIS) raw data, encompassing both low and high price periods. Prices of all food and agricultural products increased during the entire survey period of 2004 to 2012. Based on our estimates, the food groups of cereals, dairy products, vegetable and pulses, Potables and Spices are necessary goods, as their budget elasticity is positive and below one at the same time. Meat, edible oils, fruits and dried fruits and Sugary products are luxury goods, with income elasticity above one. We find that the remarkable increases in food prices resulted in severe erosion of purchasing power for the Iranian urban households and they need to be compensated on average about 48% of their initial income for the food price changes they faced during the 2004 and 2012. In addition the high share of cereals in year 2012 implies that urban households shift their consumption to cheaper calorie source. This figure is confirmed with the decline in the share of meat, dairy Products, fruits and dried fruits, vegetables and pulses and potables expenditure.
Welfare Effects, Food price change, QUAIDS demand system, Compensated Variation(CV)