Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

The Caloric Costs of Culture: Evidence from Indian Migrants

Contents:

Author Info

  • David Atkin

    ()
    (Economic Growth Center, Yale University)

Abstract

Anthropologists have long documented substantial and persistent differences across social groups in the preferences and taboos for particular foods. One natural question to ask is whether such food cultures matter in an economic sense. In particular, can culture constrain caloric intake and contribute to malnutrition? To answer this question, I first document that inter-state migrants within India consume fewer calories per Rupee of food expenditure compared to their non-migrant neighbors, even for households with very low caloric intake. I then form a chain of evidence in support of an explanation based on culture: that migrants make nutritionally-suboptimal food choices due to cultural preferences for the traditional foods of their origin states. First, I focus on the preferences themselves and document that migrants bring their origin-state food preferences with them when they migrate. Second, I link together the findings on caloric intake and preferences by showing that the gap in caloric intake between locals and migrants is related to the suitability and intensity of the migrants’ origin-state food preferences: the most adversely affected migrants (households in which both husband and wife migrated to a village where their origin-state preferences are unsuited to the local price vector) would consume 7 percent more calories if they possessed the same preferences as their neighbors.

Download Info

If 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.
File URL: http://www.econ.yale.edu/growth_pdf/cdp1028.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Economic Growth Center, Yale University in its series Working Papers with number 1028.

as in new window
Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:1028

Contact details of provider:
Postal: PO Box 8269, New Haven CT 06520-8269
Phone: (203) 432-3610
Fax: (203) 432-3898
Web page: http://www.econ.yale.edu/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Culture; Food Preferences; Migration; India; Nutrition;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
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.:
as in new window
  1. Alessandra Fogli & Raquel Fernandez, 2005. "Culture: An Empirical Investigation of Beliefs, Work, and Fertility," Working Papers 05-07, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  2. Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales & Luigi Guiso, 2006. "Does Culture Affect Economic Outcomes?," NBER Working Papers 11999, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Giuliano, Paola, 2006. "Living Arrangements in Western Europe: Does Cultural Origin Matter?," IZA Discussion Papers 2042, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Bart J. Bronnenberg & Jean-Pierre H. Dube & Matthew Gentzkow, 2010. "The Evolution of Brand Preferences: Evidence from Consumer Migration," NBER Working Papers 16267, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2000. "The Role of Social Capital in Financial Development," NBER Working Papers 7563, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Bart J. Bronnenberg & Jean-Pierre H. Dube & Matthew Gentzkow, 2012. "The Evolution of Brand Preferences: Evidence from Consumer Migration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 2472-2508, October.
  7. Almond, Douglas & Currie, Janet, 2011. "Human Capital Development before Age Five," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
  8. Subramanian, S. & Deaton, A., 1994. "The Demand for Food and Calories," Papers 175, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  9. David Atkin, 2010. "Trade, tastes and Nutrition in India," Working Papers 986, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  10. Paarlberg, Robert, 2010. "Food Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195389593.
  11. Raquel Fernández & Alessandra Fogli & Claudia Olivetti, 2004. "Mothers and Sons: Preference Formation and Female Labor Force Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1249-1299, November.
  12. De Groote, Hugo & Kimenju, Simon Chege, 2008. "Comparing consumer preferences for color and nutritional quality in maize: Application of a semi-double-bound logistic model on urban consumers in Kenya," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 362-370, August.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. #HEJC papers for August 2013
    by academichealtheconomists in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2013-07-31 23:00:48
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. repec:fsc:fspubl:13 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2013. "What separates us? Sources of resistance to globalization," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 46(4), pages 1196-1231, November.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:1028. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Louise Danishevsky).

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.