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Will rising household incomes solve China's micronutrient deficiency problems?

Author

Listed:
  • Bhavani Shankar

    () (University of Reading)

  • Yi Liu

    () (University of Reading)

Abstract

Rapid economic growth in China has resulted in substantially improved household incomes. Diets have also changed, with a movement away from traditional foods and towards animal products and processed foods. Yet micronutrient deficiencies, particularly for calcium and vitamin A, are still widespread in China. In this research we model the determinants of the intakes of these micronutrients using household panel data, asking particularly whether continuing income increases are likely to cause the deficiencies to be overcome. Nonparametric kernel regressions and random effects panel regression models are employed. The results show a statistically significant but relatively small positive income effect on both nutrient intakes. The local availability of milk is seen to have a strong positive effect on intakes of both micronutrients. Thus, rather than relying on increasing incomes to overcome deficiencies, supplementary government policies, such as school milk programmes, may be warranted.

Suggested Citation

  • Bhavani Shankar & Yi Liu, 2007. "Will rising household incomes solve China's micronutrient deficiency problems?," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 15(10), pages 1-14.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-07o10005
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Behrman, Jere R & Deolalikar, Anil B, 1987. "Will Developing Country Nutrition Improve with Income? A Case Study for Rural South India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 492-507, June.
    2. Abdulai, Awudu & Aubert, Dominique, 2004. "Nonparametric and parametric analysis of calorie consumption in Tanzania," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 113-129, April.
    3. Fang, Cheng & Beghin, John C., 2002. "Urban Demand for Edible Oils and Fats in China: Evidence from Household Survey Data," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 732-753, December.
    4. Behrman, Jere R. & Wolfe, Barbara L., 1984. "More evidence on nutrition demand : Income seems overrated and women's schooling underemphasized," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 105-128.
    5. John DiNardo & Justin L. Tobias, 2001. "Nonparametric Density and Regression Estimation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 11-28, Fall.
    6. J. Gibson & S. Rozelle, 2002. "How Elastic is Calorie Demand? Parametric, Nonparametric, and Semiparametric Results for Urban Papua New Guinea," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(6), pages 23-46.
    7. Du, Shufa & Mroz, Tom A. & Zhai, Fengying & Popkin, Barry M., 2004. "Rapid income growth adversely affects diet quality in China--particularly for the poor!," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 59(7), pages 1505-1515, October.
    8. Yen, Steven T. & Fang, Cheng & Su, Shew-Jiuan, 2004. "Household food demand in urban China: a censored system approach," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 564-585, September.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

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