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Exploring the Returns-to-Scale in Food Preparation

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  • Thomas F. Crossley
  • Yuqian Lu

Abstract

We show that as household size increases, households substitute away from prepared foods and towards ingredients. They also devote more time to food preparation. These observations (1) are consistent with a simple model with home production, returns to scale in the time input to food preparation, and varieties of food that differ in the required time input; (2) support the idea that returns to scale in home production are an important source of returns to scale in consumption; and (3), mean that across household sizes, household market expenditures on food are not proportional to food consumption quantities. The latter may provide a partial explanation for a puzzle raised by Deaton and Paxson.

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File URL: http://www.economics.mcmaster.ca/documents/department-working-papers/2004-06.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by McMaster University in its series Department of Economics Working Papers with number 2004-06.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mcm:deptwp:2004-06

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  1. Martin Browning & Pierre-Andre Chiappori, 2006. "Estimating Consumption Economies of Scale, Adult Equivalence Scales, and Household Bargaining Power," Economics Series Working Papers 289, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Deaton, A. & Paxson, C., 1997. "Economies of Scale, Household Size, and the Demand for Food," Papers 178, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  3. Angus Deaton & Christina Paxson, 2003. "Engel's What? A Response to Gan and Vernon," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(6), pages 1378-1381, December.
  4. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2004. "Consumption vs. Expenditure," NBER Working Papers 10307, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Patricia Apps & Ray Rees, 2001. "Household Saving and Full Consumpyion Over the Life Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 428, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
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Cited by:
  1. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2006. "Time to Eat: Household Production Under Increasing Income Inequality," NBER Working Papers 12002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Beatty, Timothy K.M. & Tuttle, Charlotte, 2012. "The Effect of Energy Price Shocks on Household Food Security," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124791, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  3. Victoria Vernon, 2010. "Marriage: for love, for money…and for time?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 433-457, December.

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