IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ags/aawewp/164697.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Caloric Costs of Culture: Evidence from Indian Migrants

Author

Listed:
  • Atkin, David

Abstract

Anthropologists have long documented substantial and persistent differences across so- cial groups in the preferences and taboos for particular foods. One natural question to ask is whether such food cultures matter in an economic sense. In particular, can culture constrain caloric intake and contribute to malnutrition? To answer this question, I first document that inter-state migrants within India consume fewer calories per Rupee of food expenditure com- pared to their non-migrant neighbors, even for households with very low caloric intake. I then form a chain of evidence in support of an explanation based on culture: that migrants make nutritionally-suboptimal food choices due to cultural preferences for the traditional foods of their origin states. First, I focus on the preferences themselves and document that migrants bring their origin-state food preferences with them when they migrate. Second, I link together the findings on caloric intake and preferences by showing that the gap in caloric intake between locals and migrants is related to the suitability and intensity of the migrants’ origin-state food preferences: the most adversely affected migrants (households in which both husband and wife migrated to a village where their origin-state preferences are unsuited to the local price vector) would consume 7 percent more calories if they possessed the same preferences as their neighbors.

Suggested Citation

  • Atkin, David, 2013. "The Caloric Costs of Culture: Evidence from Indian Migrants," Working Papers 164697, American Association of Wine Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aawewp:164697
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/164697
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alessandra Fogli & Raquel Fernandez, 2009. "Culture: An Empirical Investigation of Beliefs, Work, and Fertility," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 146-177, January.
    2. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2006. "Does Culture Affect Economic Outcomes?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 23-48, Spring.
    3. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2004. "The Role of Social Capital in Financial Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 526-556, June.
    4. David Atkin, 2013. "Trade, Tastes, and Nutrition in India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 1629-1663, August.
    5. Almond, Douglas & Currie, Janet, 2011. "Human Capital Development before Age Five," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    6. De Groote, Hugo & Kimenju, Simon Chege, 2008. "Comparing consumer preferences for color and nutritional quality in maize: Application of a semi-double-bound logistic model on urban consumers in Kenya," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 362-370, August.
    7. Bart J. Bronnenberg & Jean-Pierre H. Dube & Matthew Gentzkow, 2012. "The Evolution of Brand Preferences: Evidence from Consumer Migration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 2472-2508, October.
    8. Subramanian, Shankar & Deaton, Angus, 1996. "The Demand for Food and Calories," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(1), pages 133-162, February.
    9. Paola Giuliano, 2007. "Living Arrangements in Western Europe: Does Cultural Origin Matter?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(5), pages 927-952, September.
    10. S. Narayan, 2009. "India," Chapters,in: The Political Economy of Trade Reform in Emerging Markets, chapter 7 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    11. Raquel Fernández & Alessandra Fogli & Claudia Olivetti, 2004. "Mothers and Sons: Preference Formation and Female Labor Force Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1249-1299.
    12. Paarlberg, Robert, 2010. "Food Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195389593.
    13. Pool, Robert, 1987. "Hot and cold as an explanatory model: The example of Bharuch district in Gujarat, India," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 389-399, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Hannah Pieters & Andrea Guariso & Anneleen Vandeplas, 2013. "Conceptual framework for the analysis of the determinants of food and nutrition security," FOODSECURE Working papers 13, LEI Wageningen UR.
    2. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2013. "What separates us? Sources of resistance to globalization," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 46(4), pages 1196-1231, November.
    3. Lorenz Kueng & Evgeny Yakovlev, 2016. "Long-Run Effects of Public Policies: Endogenous Alcohol Preferences and Life Expectancy in Russia," Working Papers w0219, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
    4. Bastien Chabé-Ferret, 2016. "Adherence to Cultural Norms and Economic Incentives: Evidence from Fertility Timing Decisions," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2016023, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    5. Lucia Corno & Nicole Hildebrandt & Alessandra Voena, 2017. "Age of Marriage, Weather Shocks, and the Direction of Marriage Payments," Working Papers 2017-055, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    6. Dragone, Davide & Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2017. "Non-separable time preferences, novelty consumption and body weight: Theory and evidence from the East German transition to capitalism," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 41-65.
    7. Ochsner, Christian & Roesel, Felix, 2016. "Migrating Extremists," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145632, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    8. Eve Sihra, 2017. "Consumption, Social Interactions and Preferences," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/1ej8deo44v9, Sciences Po.
    9. Robert C. Allen, 2017. "Absolute Poverty: When Necessity Displaces Desire," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(12), pages 3690-3721, December.
    10. K. Sudhir & Joe Priester & Matt Shum & David Atkin & Andrew Foster & Ganesh Iyer & Ginger Jin & Daniel Keniston & Shinobu Kitayama & Mushfiq Mobarak & Yi Qian & Ishani Tewari & Wendy Wood, 2015. "Research Opportunities in Emerging Markets: an Inter-disciplinary Perspective from Marketing, Economics, and Psychology," Customer Needs and Solutions, Springer;Institute for Sustainable Innovation and Growth (iSIG), vol. 2(4), pages 264-276, December.
    11. repec:eee:jfpoli:v:71:y:2017:i:c:p:132-142 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. van Hoorn, Andre, 2016. "The Cultural Roots of Human Capital Accumulation," MPRA Paper 80007, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Fenske, James & Kala, Namrata, 2017. "Linguistic Distance and Market Integration in India," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 331, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    14. Clément Bellet, 2017. "Essays on Inequality, Social Preferences and Consumer Behavior," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/vbu6kd1s68o, Sciences Po.
    15. Clément Bellet & Eve Sihra, 2016. "Less Food for More Status: Caste Inequality and Conspicuous Consumption in India," Sciences Po publications 56, Sciences Po.
    16. van den Boom,Bart & Halsema,Alex & Molini,Vasco, 2015. "Are we confusing poverty with preferences ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7247, The World Bank.
    17. Fensore, Irene & Legge, Stefan & Schmid, Lukas, 2017. "Human Barriers to International Trade," Economics Working Paper Series 1712, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    18. Robert C. Allen, 2017. "Absolute Poverty: When Necessity Displaces Desire REVISED," Working Papers 20170005, New York University Abu Dhabi, Department of Social Science, revised Jun 2017.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; Food Security and Poverty; I10; O10; Z10; D12;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:aawewp:164697. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/aaweeea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.