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Food quality, calories and household income

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  • Emmanuel Skoufias
  • Vincenzo Di Maro
  • Teresa Gonzalez-Cossio
  • Sonia Rodriguez Ramirez

Abstract

We investigate the relationship between calories, food quality and household per capita expenditure using regression and semiparametric methods on a sample of poor households from rural Mexico, where Programa de Apoyo Alimentario (PAL), a targeted nutritional programme, is operating. The semiparametric method yields an estimate of the elasticity between calories and expenditure of 0.39 below the median and 0.28 above. The corresponding estimates of the elasticity of the calorie price are 0.48 below the median and 0.45 above. We also examine the extent to which the expenditure elasticity of the calorie price is explained by substitution between and within major food groups. We find that there is a very high incidence of substitution within cereals (especially for poor households) and that between group substitution explains at most 59% of the income elasticity for food quality. These estimates suggest that the potential of a cash transfer programme to have a positive impact on the food diversity and the nutritional status of households is quite limited.

Suggested Citation

  • Emmanuel Skoufias & Vincenzo Di Maro & Teresa Gonzalez-Cossio & Sonia Rodriguez Ramirez, 2011. "Food quality, calories and household income," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(28), pages 4331-4342.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:43:y:2011:i:28:p:4331-4342
    DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2010.491454
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Angus Deaton & Salman Zaidi, 2002. "Guidelines for Constructing Consumption Aggregates for Welfare Analysis," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14101.
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    Cited by:

    1. Katharina Lehmann-Uschner & Kati Kraehnert, 2017. "Food Intake and the Role of Food Self-Provisioning," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(8), pages 1303-1322, August.
    2. Melo, P. C. & Abdul-Salam, Yakubu & Roberts, D. & Colen, L. & Mary, S. & Gomez Y Paloma, S., 2016. "Income growth and malnutrition in Africa: Is there a need for region-specific policies?," 90th Annual Conference, April 4-6, 2016, Warwick University, Coventry, UK 236372, Agricultural Economics Society.
    3. Patricia C Melo & Yakubu Abdul-Salam & Deborah Roberts & Alana Gilbert & Robin Matthews & Liesbeth Colen & Sergio Gomez Y Paloma, 2015. "Income Elasticities of Food Demand in Africa: A Meta-Analysis," JRC Working Papers JRC98812, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    4. De Zhou & Xiaohua Yu, 2015. "Calorie Elasticities with Income Dynamics: Evidence from the Literature," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 37(4), pages 575-601.

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