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How Elastic is Calorie Demand? Parametric, Nonparametric, and Semiparametric Results for Urban Papua New Guinea

  • J. Gibson
  • S. Rozelle

This article seeks further evidence on the elasticity of calorie demand with respect to household resources. The case presented is for urban areas of Papua New Guinea, where just over one-half of the population appear to obtain less than the recommended amount of dietary energy. The relationship between per capita calorie consumption and per capita expenditure in urban areas of Papua New Guinea is not consistent with the view that income changes have negligible effects on nutrient intakes. The unconditional calorie demand elasticity is approximately 0.6 for the poorest half of the population. Using parametric and semiparametric estimation to control for a wide range of other influences on calorie consumption does not materially reduce the size of the elasticity. Therefore, these results are not supportive of 'growth-pessimism' and instead suggest that policies that increase urban household incomes will also act to reduce undernutrition.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Development Studies.

Volume (Year): 38 (2002)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 23-46

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:38:y:2002:i:6:p:23-46
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  1. Behrman, Jere R. & Wolfe, Barbara L., 1984. "More evidence on nutrition demand : Income seems overrated and women's schooling underemphasized," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 105-128.
  2. Bouis, Howarth E. & Haddad, Lawrence J., 1992. "Are estimates of calorie-income fxelasticities too high? : A recalibration of the plausible range," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 333-364, October.
  3. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G., 1993. "Estimation and Inference in Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195060119, March.
  4. Cliff Attfield & Sonia R Bhalotra, 1998. "Intrahousehold Resource Allocation in Rural Pakistan: A Semi-parametric Analysis," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 11, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  5. Bouis, Howarth E., 1994. "The effect of income on demand for food in poor countries: Are our food consumption databases giving us reliable estimates?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 199-226, June.
  6. Subramanian, S. & Deaton, A., 1994. "The Demand for Food and Calories," Papers 175, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  7. Behrman, Jere R & Deolalikar, Anil B, 1987. "Will Developing Country Nutrition Improve with Income? A Case Study for Rural South India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 492-507, June.
  8. Delgado, Miguel A & Robinson, Peter M, 1992. " Nonparametric and Semiparametric Methods for Economic Research," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(3), pages 201-49.
  9. Anglin, Paul M & Gencay, Ramazan, 1996. "Semiparametric Estimation of a Hedonic Price Function," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(6), pages 633-48, Nov.-Dec..
  10. Ravallion, Martin, 1990. "Income Effects on Undernutrition," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(3), pages 489-515, April.
  11. Ruel, Marie T. & Garrett, James L. & Morris, Saul Sutkover & Maxwell, Daniel G. & Oshaug, Arne & Engle, Patrice L. & Menon, Purnima & Slack, Alison T. & Haddad, Lawrence James, 1998. "Urban challenges to food and nutrition security," FCND discussion papers 51, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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