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Household size, income and expenditure on food: The case of Cyprus

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  • Jacobson, David
  • Mavrikiou, Petroula M.
  • Minas, Christos

Abstract

This paper addresses some of the questions raised in a debate between (Deaton and Paxson, 1998) and (Deaton and Paxson, 2003) and Gan and Vernon (2003) in the Journal of Political Economy. At issue is what, on the basis of theory, the behaviour of households should be in relation to expenditure on food, as household size increases. One argument is that expenditure on food, per capita, should increase as household size increases, but analysis of the data gives very different results. Questions arise as to whether food is a public or private good within households, how food compares to clothing and whether there can be substitution away from food, for example towards clothing. For the purposes of addressing these and related questions in the Cyprus context, a household budget survey was undertaken, in which 625 responses were obtained. The paper describes the survey and uses the results of the survey to run regressions to identify the variables that relate significantly to expenditure on food. What we add to the discussion is the analysis of the determinants of expenditure on food in Cyprus, and the categorisation of this expenditure into food at home, take-away food, food in pubs and cafes, and food in restaurants. Our results tend to support Gan and Vernon (2003); we find, for example, that clothing is more private than food.

Suggested Citation

  • Jacobson, David & Mavrikiou, Petroula M. & Minas, Christos, 2010. "Household size, income and expenditure on food: The case of Cyprus," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 319-328, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:39:y:2010:i:2:p:319-328
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lanjouw, Peter & Ravallion, Martin, 1995. "Poverty and Household Size," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(433), pages 1415-1434, November.
    2. Trevon D. Logan, 2011. "Economies Of Scale In The Household: Puzzles And Patterns From The American Past," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 49(4), pages 1008-1028, October.
    3. Angus Deaton & Christina Paxson, 1998. "Economies of Scale, Household Size, and the Demand for Food," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 897-930, October.
    4. Li Gan & Victoria Vernon, 2003. "Testing the Barten Model of Economies of Scale in Household Consumption: Toward Resolving a Paradox of Deaton and Paxson," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(6), pages 1361-1377, December.
    5. Michael Haliassos & Christis Hassapis & Alex Karagrigoriou & George Kyriacou & Michalis C. Michael & George Syrichas, 2003. "Debts of Cyprus Households: Lessons from the First Cyprus Survey of Consumer Finances," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 4-2003, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
    6. Angus Deaton & Christina Paxson, 2003. "Engel's What? A Response to Gan and Vernon," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(6), pages 1378-1381, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kostakis, Ioannis, 2. "The Determinants Of Households’ Food Consumption In Greece," International Journal of Food and Agricultural Economics (IJFAEC), Alanya Alaaddin Keykubat University, Department of Economics and Finance, vol. 2(2).
    2. Rosinger, Asher & Tanner, Susan & Leonard, William R., 2013. "Precursors to overnutrition: The effects of household market food expenditures on measures of body composition among Tsimane' adults in lowland Bolivia," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 53-60.
    3. repec:spr:soinre:v:133:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1409-z is not listed on IDEAS

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