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How Elastic Is Calorie Demand? Parametric, Nonparametric, And Semiparametric Results For Urban Papua New Guinea

  • Gibson, John
  • Rozelle, Scott

This paper 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, most of whom have less than the recommended 2000 calories per day available to them. 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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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/11961
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Paper provided by University of California, Davis, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics in its series Working Papers with number 11961.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:ags:ucdavw:11961
Contact details of provider: Phone: 530-752-1517
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Web page: http://www.agecon.ucdavis.edu/
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  1. 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.
  2. Ravallion, Martin, 1990. "Income Effects on Undernutrition," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(3), pages 489-515, April.
  3. Sonia Bhalotra & Cliff Attfield, 1998. "Intrahousehold resource allocation in rural Pakistan: a semi-parametric analysis," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6679, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G., 1993. "Estimation and Inference in Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195060119.
  5. 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..
  6. Subramanian, Shankar & Deaton, Angus, 1996. "The Demand for Food and Calories," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(1), pages 133-62, February.
  7. 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).
  8. 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.
  9. Robinson, Peter M, 1988. "Root- N-Consistent Semiparametric Regression," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 931-54, July.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
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