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Heterogeneity in Food Demand among Rural Indian Households: The Role of Demographics


  • Aditya R. Khanal
  • Ashok K. Mishra
  • Walter Keithly


type="main"> Food expenditures, influenced by social, demographic, and economic factors, constitute a significant proportion of the typical rural Indian's household income. Based on cross-sectional household data, this study employs the Quadratic Almost Ideal Demand System to estimate food demand among rural Indian households. Special attention is given to the rural household's two-stage budgeting in total food expenditure and then to a demand for a specific food item. Conditional and unconditional expenditure and price elasticities for seven food groups are estimated. Results indicate that own-price elasticities for each group are negative ranging from fairly inelastic to elastic range. Expenditure elasticities indicate that food items are a normal necessity to luxury goods. Additionally, socio-demographic factors play a significant role in food consumption patterns. Based on our unconditional expenditure elasticities, we also project food demand from rural Indian households for next two decades. Les dépenses alimentaires, qui sont influencées par des facteurs socioéconomiques et démographiques, absorbent une partie considérable du revenu des ménages ruraux typiques en Inde. Dans la présente étude, nous avons utilisé le modèle de demande quasi idéal quadratique pour estimer, à l'aide de données transversales sur les ménages, la demande alimentaire des ménages ruraux en Inde. Nous avons accordé une attention spéciale à la budgétisation en deux étapes des dépenses alimentaires totales et à la demande d'un produit alimentaire particulier du ménage rural. Nous avons estimé les dépenses conditionnelles et inconditionnelles et l’élasticité-prix de sept groupes alimentaires. Les résultats de notre étude indiquent que l’élasticité-prix de chaque groupe est négative et qu'elle varie de plutôt inélastique à divers degrés d’élasticité. L’élasticité des dépenses indique que les produits alimentaires varient de nécessités de base à produits de luxe. Les facteurs sociodémographiques jouent également un rôle important dans les habitudes de consommation alimentaire. D'après les élasticités des dépenses établies dans notre étude, nous avons estimé la demande alimentaire des ménages ruraux en Inde pour les deux prochaines décennies.

Suggested Citation

  • Aditya R. Khanal & Ashok K. Mishra & Walter Keithly, 2016. "Heterogeneity in Food Demand among Rural Indian Households: The Role of Demographics," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 64(3), pages 517-544, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:canjag:v:64:y:2016:i:3:p:517-544

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Regmi, Madhav & Featherstone, Allen M., 2017. "Farm Households Consumption Heterogeneity And Rural Business Dynamics," 2017 Annual Meeting, February 4-7, 2017, Mobile, Alabama 252755, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.

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