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