The Transformation of Hunger: The Demand for Calories Past and Present
AbstractAccording to conventional income measures, nineteenth century American and British industrial workers were two to four times as wealthy as poor people in developing countries today. Surprisingly, however, today's poor are less hungry than yesterday's wealthy industrial workers. I estimate the demand for calories of American and British industrial workers using the 1888 Cost of Living Survey and find that the estimated calorie elasticities for both American and British households are greater than calorie elasticity estimates for households in present day developing countries. The results are robust to measurement error, unreported food consumption, and indirect estimation bias. This finding implies substantial nutritional improvements among the poor in the twentieth century. Using the Engel curve implied by the historical calorie elasticities, I derive new income estimates for developing countries which yield income estimates that are six to ten times greater than those derived using purchasing power parity or GDP deflators.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal The Journal of Economic History.
Volume (Year): 69 (2009)
Issue (Month): 02 (June)
Contact details of provider:
Postal: The Edinburgh Building, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge CB2 2RU UK
Fax: +44 (0)1223 325150
Web page: http://journals.cambridge.org/jid_JEHProvider-Email:email@example.com
Other versions of this item:
- Trevon D. Logan, 2005. "The Transformation of Hunger: The Demand for Calories Past and Present," NBER Working Papers 11754, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
- I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Production
- I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
- J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
- N31 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Subramanian, S. & Deaton, A., 1994.
"The Demand for Food and Calories,"
175, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
- Yusuf, Shahid & Nabeshima, Kaoru & Wei Ha, 2007. "What makes cities healthy ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4107, The World Bank.
- Trevon D. Logan, 2008.
"Economies of Scale in the Household: Puzzles and Patterns from the American Past,"
NBER Working Papers
13869, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Trevon D. Logan, 2011. "Economies Of Scale In The Household: Puzzles And Patterns From The American Past," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 49(4), pages 1008-1028, October.
- Pan, Suwen & Fang, Cheng & Rejesus, Roderick M., 2008. "Food Calorie Intake under Grain Price Uncertainty: Evidence from Rural Nepal," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6198, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
- António Afonso & Christophe Rault, 2010.
"Short and Long-run Behaviour of Long-term Sovereign Bond Yields,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
3249, CESifo Group Munich.
- António Afonso & Christophe Rault, 2010. "Short and Long-run Behaviour of Long-term Sovereign Bond Yields," Working Papers Department of Economics 2010/19, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
- Casabonne, Ursula & Kenny, Charles, 2012. "The Best Things in Life are (Nearly) Free: Technology, Knowledge, and Global Health," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 21-35.
- Afonso, António & Martins, Manuel M.F., 2010.
"Level, slope, curvature of the sovereign yield curve, and fiscal behaviour,"
Working Paper Series
1276, European Central Bank.
- Afonso, António & Martins, Manuel M.F., 2012. "Level, slope, curvature of the sovereign yield curve, and fiscal behaviour," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 1789-1807.
- Morgan Kelly & Cormac Ó Gráda, 2012. "Agricultural Output, Calories and Living Standards in England before and during The Industrial Revolution," Working Papers 201212, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
- Ann Carlos & Frank Lewis, 2010. "Property Rights, Standards of Living, and Economic Growth: Western Canadian Cree," Working Papers 1232, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Keith Waters).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.