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Do the urban poor face higher food prices? Evidence from Vietnam

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  • Gibson, John
  • Kim, Bonggeun

Abstract

Whether there is a poverty penalty, in terms of food prices, is unsettled in the literature after more than four decades of study. Unit values from household surveys suggest that prices vary with income while outlet surveys typically find food prices varying with store type but not with neighborhood income. Most outlet surveys are from rich countries, with just one spatially limited study from a developing country. In this paper we use especially collected food price data from metropolitan areas of Vietnam to test whether the urban poor face higher food prices. Food prices in low-income neighborhoods are 1% lower, on average, than in other neighborhoods. Unit values give a different answer to the question of whether the poor face higher prices and are not suited to answer such a question.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Food Policy.

Volume (Year): 41 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 193-203

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:41:y:2013:i:c:p:193-203

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/foodpol

Related research

Keywords: Food prices; Poverty; Unit values; Urban markets; Vietnam;

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References

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  4. Vu, Linh & Glewwe, Paul, 2011. "Impacts of Rising Food Prices on Poverty and Welfare in Vietnam," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 36(1), April.
  5. MacDonald, James M. & Nelson, Paul Jr., 1991. "Do the poor still pay more? Food price variations in large metropolitan areas," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 344-359, November.
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  7. Peter Timmer, 2009. "Rice Price Formation in the Short Run and the Long Run: The Role of Market Structure in Explaining Volatility," Working Papers 172, Center for Global Development.
  8. Christophe Muller, 2008. "The Measurement Of Poverty With Geographical And Intertemporal Price Dispersion: Evidence From Rwanda," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 54(1), pages 27-49, 03.
  9. Timothy K.M. Beatty, 2010. "Do the Poor Pay More for Food?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 92(3), pages 608-621.
  10. Ronald U. Mendoza, 2011. "Why do the poor pay more? Exploring the poverty penalty concept," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(1), pages 1-28, January.
  11. Musgrove, Philip & Galindo, Osmil, 1988. "Do the Poor Pay More? Retail Food Prices in Northeast Brazil," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(1), pages 91-109, October.
  12. McKelvey, Christopher, 2011. "Price, unit value, and quality demanded," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 157-169, July.
  13. John Gibson & Scott Rozelle, 2005. "Prices and Unit Values in Poverty Measurement and Tax Reform Analysis," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 19(1), pages 69-97.
  14. Kunreuther, Howard, 1973. "Why the Poor May Pay More for Food: Theoretical and Empirical Evidence," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(3), pages 368-83, July.
  15. Rao, Vijayendra, 2000. "Price Heterogeneity and "Real" Inequality: A Case Study of Prices and Poverty in Rural South India," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(2), pages 201-11, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Gibson, John & Kim, Bonggeun, 2013. "Quality, Quantity, and Nutritional Impacts of Rice Price Changes in Vietnam," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 329-340.
  2. Anania, Giovanni & Nisticò, Rosanna, 2014. "Price dispersion and seller heterogeneity in retail food markets," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 190-201.
  3. Mussa, Richard, 2014. "Do the Poor Pay More for Maize in Malawi?," MPRA Paper 54623, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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