This study identifies the factors that influence parents’ choice of milk for their children, using data from a unique survey administered in 2013 in Hunan province, China. In this survey, we identified two brands of milk, which differ in their prices and safety claims by the producer. Data were collected on parents’ choice of milk between the two brands, demographics, attitude towards food safety and behaviors related to food. Stepwise model selection and Bayesian model averaging (BMA) are used to search for influential factors. The two approaches consistently select the same factors suggested by an economic theoretical model, including price and food expenditure per person. They also select other factors, such as the trust level of the safety claim and the number of averting behaviors. BMA finds strong evidence of model uncertainty, which suggests one single “true” model does not exist. Over 150 models are identified with a maximum 5% probability as the “true” model. Therefore, compared to stepwise model selection that does not account for model uncertainty, BMA is a more appropriate approach to identify the factors that influence parents’ choice of milk.
Level of Degree
Mathematics & Statistics
First Committee Member (Chair)
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Model selection, Bayesian model averaging, stepwise, logistic regression, food safety, food choice
Cheng, Yingzhe. "What Affects Parents’ Choice of Milk? An Application of Bayesian Model Averaging." (2016). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/math_etds/89