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

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  • Gibson, John
  • Kim, Bonggeun

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Gibson, John & Kim, Bonggeun, 2013. "Do the urban poor face higher food prices? Evidence from Vietnam," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 193-203.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:41:y:2013:i:c:p:193-203
    DOI: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2013.05.003
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    Cited by:

    1. Emilio Aguirre & Pablo Blanchard & Fernando Borraz & Joaquín Saldain, 2015. "Prices and Competition. Evidence from a Social Program," Documentos de trabajo 2015002, Banco Central del Uruguay.
    2. Gibson, John & Kim, Bonggeun, 2013. "Quality, Quantity, and Nutritional Impacts of Rice Price Changes in Vietnam," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 329-340.
    3. Elleby, Christian, 2014. "Poverty and Price Transmission," 2014 International Congress, August 26-29, 2014, Ljubljana, Slovenia 182722, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    4. Gaddis,Isis, 2016. "Prices for poverty analysis in Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7652, The World Bank.
    5. Mussa, Richard, 2014. "Food Price Heterogeneity and Income Inequality in Malawi: Is Inequality Underestimated?," MPRA Paper 56080, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Richard Mussa, 2015. "Do the Poor Pay More for Maize in Malawi?," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(4), pages 546-563, 05-27.
    7. UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa, "undated". "Building an Integrated Inequality Dataset and the ÔSeven SinsÕ of Inequality Measurement in sub-Saharan Africa," UNDP Africa Policy Notes 2017-16, United Nations Development Programme, Regional Bureau for Africa.
    8. Anania, Giovanni & Nisticò, Rosanna, 2014. "Price dispersion and seller heterogeneity in retail food markets," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 190-201.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Food prices; Poverty; Unit values; Urban markets; Vietnam;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • R10 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General

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