Document Type : Original Article


1 Ph.D. candidate of Agricultural Economics, University of Payame Noor, Tehran, Iran

2 Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics, University of Payame Noor, Tehran, Iran

3 Professor of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Agricultural Economics and Development, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran

4 Assistant Professor of Agricultural Economics, Institute of Planning Research, Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Tehran, Iran


The separability of consumer desires is a necessary condition for multi-stage budgeting and collectivization is consistent of commodity where costs are allocated between edible groups using price indices and intergroup allocations are made independent of other groups. In empirical studies of demand, the concept of separation is used to correctly estimate demand function and limit the number of parameters. For this purpose, data related to price index and cost of selected commodities (citrus fruits, cucurbits, and vegetables) derived from the Central Bank over 2016 in urban households of Iran were used. The results of the separability tests support the hypothesis that consumers first allocate their income to selected commodities in three groups (citrus fruits, cucurbits, and vegetables) and then approves the income allocation action between the types of its subgroups that are grouped. Also, the results of the system estimation showed that all groups had a negative intrinsic price elasticity. In the meantime, the price elasticity of the groups of citrus fruits (orange, tangerines, and lemon), cucurbits fruits (potato, tomato, and onion) and vegetables (the leafy ones) are equal to -0.83, -0.48 and -0.91, respectively. Given the income elasticity calculated for the three commodity groups, the second commodity group (potato, tomato, and onion) is more essential than the other commodity groups, which should be considered in government policies as to agricultural production and pricing.

Graphical Abstract

Weak Separability Testing and Estimation of Selected Food Commodities Demand System in Urban Households of Iran (Case of Citrus Fruits, Cucurbits and Vegetables)


  • Weak separability (WS) allows the splitting of a utility function (technology) into many sub-utility functions.
  • Separability types include (symmetric and asymmetric separable structures), weak or strong separability.
  • Goods belonging to a group may be aggregated if the direct utility function is weakly separable.
  • Rotterdam modelbased on consumer demand theory and is sufficiently flexible to capture variations in consumer behavior


Main Subjects

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