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Estimation of Demand Elasticity for Food Commodities in India


  • Kumar, Praduman
  • Kumar, Anjani
  • Parappurathu, Shinoj
  • Raju, S.S.


The food demand in India has been examined in the context of a structural shift in the dietary pattern of its population. The results have reinforced the hypothesis of a significant diversification in the dietary pattern of households in recent years and has found stark differences in the consumption pattern across different income quartiles. The food demand behaviour has been explained using a set of demand elasticities corresponding to major food commodities. The demand elasticities have been estimated using multi-stage budgeting with QUAIDS model and another alternative model, FCDS. The study has revealed that the estimated income elasticities vary across income classes and are lowest for cereals group and highest for horticultural and livestock products. The analysis of price and income effects based on the estimated demand system has suggested that with increase in food price inflation, the demand for staple food (rice, wheat and sugar) may not be affected adversely but, that of high-value food commodities is likely to be affected negatively. Therefore, the study has cautioned that if inflation in food prices remains unabated for an extended period, there is the possibility of reversal of the trend of diversification and that of consumers returning to cereal-dominated diet, thus accentuating under-nourishment.

Suggested Citation

  • Kumar, Praduman & Kumar, Anjani & Parappurathu, Shinoj & Raju, S.S., 2011. "Estimation of Demand Elasticity for Food Commodities in India," Agricultural Economics Research Review, Agricultural Economics Research Association (India), vol. 24(1).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aerrae:109408

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Kozicka, Marta & Kalkuhl, Matthias & Saini, Shweta & Brockhaus, Jan, 2014. "Modeling Indian Wheat and Rice Sector Policies," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 169808, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
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    4. Khundrakpam, J. K. & Das, Dipika, 2011. "Monetary Policy and Food Prices in India," MPRA Paper 50904, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    8. Javier García-Enríquez & Cruz A. Echevarría, 2016. "Consistent Estimation of a Censored Demand System and Welfare Analysis: The 2012 VAT Reform in Spain," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(2), pages 324-347, June.
    9. Rudrani Bhattacharya & Abhijit Sen Gupta, 2015. "Food Inflation in India: Causes and Consequences," Working Papers id:7141, eSocialSciences.
    10. Srivastava, S.K. & Mathur, V.C. & Sivaramane, N. & Kumar, Ranjit & Hasan, Rooba & Meena, P.C., 2013. "Unravelling Food Basket of Indian Households: Revisiting Underlying Changes and Future Food Demand," Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Indian Society of Agricultural Economics, vol. 68(4).
    11. Bilgic, Abdulbaki & Yen, Steven T., 2013. "Household food demand in Turkey: A two-step demand system approach," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 267-277.
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    13. Rankin Neil & Burger Rulof & Coetzee Wicus & Kreuser Friedrich, 2015. "Income and price elasticities of demand in South Africa: An application of the linear expenditure system," WIDER Working Paper Series 100, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    14. Weber, Regine, 2015. "Welfare Impacts of Rising Food Prices: Evidence from India," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 211901, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    15. Rudrani Bhattacharya & Abhijit Sen Gupta, 2017. "What Role Did Rising Demand Play in Driving Food Prices Up?," South Asian Journal of Macroeconomics and Public Finance, , vol. 6(1), pages 59-81, June.
    16. Gadenne, Lucie, 2018. "Do Ration Shop Systems Increase Welfare? Theory and an Application to India," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1149, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    17. Sumit Mahajan & Alfonso Sousa-Poza & K. Datta, 2015. "Differential effects of rising food prices on Indian households differing in income," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 7(5), pages 1043-1053, October.
    18. Sen Gupta, Abhijit & Bhattacharya, Rudrani & Rao, Narhari, 2014. "Understanding Food Inflation in India," MPRA Paper 58319, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Kumar, Praduman & Joshi, P.K., 2014. "Input Subsidy vs Farm Technology — Which is More Important for Agricultural Development?," Agricultural Economics Research Review, Agricultural Economics Research Association (India), vol. 27(1).

    More about this item


    Food demand; Demand elasticity; QUAIDS model; FCDS model; Household food demand; Agricultural and Food Policy; Q11; Q18;

    JEL classification:

    • Q11 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Aggregate Supply and Demand Analysis; Prices
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy


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