Trade, Tastes, and Nutrition in India
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.
Volume (Year): 103 (2013)
Issue (Month): 5 (August)
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