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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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    1. James H. Stock & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Testing for Weak Instruments in Linear IV Regression," NBER Technical Working Papers 0284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Brian W. Gould, 2003. "An Empirical Assessment of Endogeneity Issues in Demand Analysis for Differentiated Products," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(3), pages 605-617.
    3. John Kennan, 1989. "Simultaneous Equations Bias in Disaggregated Econometric Models," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(1), pages 151-156.
    4. James Melvin & Robert Waschik, 2001. "The neoclassical ambiguity in the specific factor model," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(3), pages 321-337.
    5. 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.
    6. Raghbendra Jha & K. V. Bhanu Murthy & Anurag Sharma, 2008. "Market Integration in Wholesale Rice Markets in India," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: Raghbendra Jha (ed.), The Indian Economy Sixty Years After Independence, chapter 13, pages 233-246, Palgrave Macmillan.
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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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