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Do the urban poor face higher food prices? Evidence from Vietnam

  • Gibson, John
  • Kim, Bonggeun

Whether there is a poverty penalty, in terms of food prices, is unsettled in the literature after more than four decades of study. Unit values from household surveys suggest that prices vary with income while outlet surveys typically find food prices varying with store type but not with neighborhood income. Most outlet surveys are from rich countries, with just one spatially limited study from a developing country. In this paper we use especially collected food price data from metropolitan areas of Vietnam to test whether the urban poor face higher food prices. Food prices in low-income neighborhoods are 1% lower, on average, than in other neighborhoods. Unit values give a different answer to the question of whether the poor face higher prices and are not suited to answer such a question.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Food Policy.

Volume (Year): 41 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 193-203

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:41:y:2013:i:c:p:193-203
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/foodpol

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  1. Deaton, A., 1988. "Price Elasticities From Survey Data: Extensions And Indonesian Results," Papers 138, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  2. Kunreuther, Howard, 1973. "Why the Poor May Pay More for Food: Theoretical and Empirical Evidence," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(3), pages 368-83, July.
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  7. Kaufman, Phillip R. & MacDonald, James M. & Lutz, Steve M. & Smallwood, David M., 1997. "Do the Poor Pay More for Food? Item Selection and Price Differences Affect Low-Income Household Food Costs," Agricultural Economics Reports 34065, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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  12. Rao, Vijayendra, 2000. "Price Heterogeneity and "Real" Inequality: A Case Study of Prices and Poverty in Rural South India," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(2), pages 201-11, June.
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