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Impact of Income Growth and Economic Reform on Nutrition Intake in Urban China: 1986-2000

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Author Info

  • Meng, Xin

    ()
    (Australian National University)

  • Gong, Xiaodong

    ()
    (NATSEM, University of Canberra)

  • Wang, Youjuan

    (Chinese State Statistical Bureau)

Abstract

Although urban China has experienced a rapid income growth over the last twenty years, nutrition intake for the low income group declined in the 1990s. Does this imply a zero or negative income elasticity for the low income group? This paper examines this issue using large representative sample of repeated cross-sectional data for the period 1986-2000. It is found that income elasticities of calorie consumption for urban households are far from zero, and the lower the income level the higher the income elasticity. The main reason for the reduction in calorie consumption for the low income group in the early 1990s was a sharp increase in food price. In addition, in the mid to late 1990s large scale social welfare reform increased households’ need to pay for education, medical, housing expenses and the need to save for future consumption and income uncertainty. These factors seem to have played an important role in suppressing nutrition consumption of the low income group during this period.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1448.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as 'Impact of Income Growth and Economic Reform on Nutrition Availability in Urban China: 1986–2000' in: Economic Development and Cultural Change, 2009, 57 (2), 261-295
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1448

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Related research

Keywords: inequality; income growth; poverty; China;

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References

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  1. Subramanian, S. & Deaton, A., 1994. "The Demand for Food and Calories," Papers 175, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
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  6. Skoufias, Emmanuel, 2003. "Is the Calorie-Income Elasticity Sensitive to Price Changes? Evidence from Indonesia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 1291-1307, July.
  7. Strauss, J. & Thonas, D., 1990. "The Shape Of The Calorie-Expenditure Curve," Papers 595, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  8. Behrman, Jere R & Deolalikar, Anil B, 1987. "Will Developing Country Nutrition Improve with Income? A Case Study for Rural South India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 492-507, June.
  9. Yatchew, A., 1997. "An elementary estimator of the partial linear model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 135-143, December.
  10. John Giles & Albert Park & Fang Cai, 2003. "How has Economic Restructuring Affected China’s Urban Workers?," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2003-628, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  11. James Banks & Paul Johnson, 1994. "Equivalence scales and public policy," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 15(1), pages 1-23, February.
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  13. Ravallion, Martin, 1990. "Income Effects on Undernutrition," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(3), pages 489-515, April.
  14. Carroll, Christopher D, 1994. "How Does Future Income Affect Current Consumption?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(1), pages 111-47, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Gong, Cathy Honge & Leigh, Andrew & Meng, Xin, 2010. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in Urban China," IZA Discussion Papers 4811, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Xiaohua Li & Yaohui Zhao & Lili Lu, 2008. "Effects of Education on Earnings Inequality in Urban China: 1988-2003," Working Papers PMMA 2008-09, PEP-PMMA.

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