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Affluence and Food: A Simple Way to Infer Incomes

  • Kenneth W. Clements
  • Dongling Chen

Accurate and timely measures of cross-country real incomes are still a rarity. As the share of expenditure devoted to food is readily available, we use Engel's law in reciprocal form to measure affluence. Analysis of real income data for over 100 countries indicates that this approach is viable. To recognize the role of uncertainty in the analysis, we present the results in the form of stochastic cross-country income comparisons. Copyright 2010, Oxford University Press.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/ajae/aaq049
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Article provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its journal American Journal of Agricultural Economics.

Volume (Year): 92 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 909-926

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:92:y:2010:i:4:p:909-926
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  1. David E. Sahn & David Stifel, 2003. "Exploring Alternative Measures of Welfare in the Absence of Expenditure Data," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 49(4), pages 463-489, December.
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  3. Duggar, Jan Warren, 1969. "International Comparisons of Income Levels: An Additional Measure," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 79(313), pages 109-16, March.
  4. van Praag, Bernard M S & Spit, Jan S & van de Stadt, Huib, 1982. "A Comparison between the Food Ratio Poverty Line and the Leyden Poverty Line," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(4), pages 691-94, November.
  5. Bhanoji Rao, V. V., 1981. "Measurement of deprivation and poverty based on the proportion spent on food: An exploratory exercise," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 337-353, April.
  6. Beckerman, Wilfred & Bacon, Robert, 1970. "International Comparisons of Income Levels: an Additional Measure: Reply," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 80(318), pages 418-20, June.
  7. Heston, Alan, 1973. "A Comparison of Some Short-Cut Methods of Estimating Real Product Per Capita," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 19(1), pages 79-104, March.
  8. Seale, James & Regmi, Anita & Bernstein, Jason, 2003. "International Evidence on Food Consumption Patterns," Technical Bulletins 184321, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  9. Barlow, Robin, 1977. "A Test of Alternative Methods of Making GNP Comparisons," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 87(347), pages 450-59, September.
  10. Bruce W. Hamilton, 2001. "Using Engel's Law to Estimate CPI Bias," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 619-630, June.
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