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Trade, Tastes, and Nutrition in India

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  • David Atkin

Abstract

This paper explores the causes and consequences of regional taste differences. I introduce habit formation into a standard general equilibrium model. Household tastes evolve over time to favor foods consumed as a child. Thus, locally abundant foods are preferred in every region, as they were relatively inexpensive in prior generations. These patterns alter the correspondence between price changes and nutrition. For example, neglecting this relationship between tastes and agro-climatic endowments overstates the short-run nutritional gains from agricultural trade liberalization, since preferred foods rise in price in every region. I examine the model's predictions using household survey data from many regions of India.

Suggested Citation

  • David Atkin, 2013. "Trade, Tastes, and Nutrition in India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 1629-1663, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:5:p:1629-63
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.5.1629
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    8. Prema-Chandra Athukorala, 2005. "Agricultural Trade Policy Reforms in India," South Asia Economic Journal, Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka, vol. 6(1), pages 23-36, March.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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