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Low-Income Households' Expenditures On Fruits And Vegetables

  • Blisard, Noel
  • Stewart, Hayden
  • Jolliffe, Dean

This report analyzes fruit and vegetable expenditures by low-income households and higher income households, and compares the sensitivity of both groups' purchases to changes in income. On average, low-income households spent $3.59 per capita per week on fruits and vegetables in 2000 while higher income households spent $5.02-a statistically significant difference. In addition, a statistical demand model indicates that marginal increases in income received by low-income households are not spent on additional fruits and vegetables. In contrast, increases in income received by higher income households do increase their fruit and vegetable expenditures. One interpretation of this finding is that low-income households will allocate an additional dollar of income to other food or nonfood items deemed more essential to the household such as meats, clothing, or housing.

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Paper provided by United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service in its series Agricultural Economics Reports with number 34041.

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Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ags:uerser:34041
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  1. Kellie Curry Raper & Maria Namakhoye Wanzala & Rodolfo Nayga, 2002. "Food expenditures and household demographic composition in the US: a demand systems approach," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(8), pages 981-992.
  2. Parke E. Wilde & Paul E. McNamara & Christine K. Ranney, 1999. "The Effect of Income and Food Programs on Dietary Quality: A Seemingly Unrelated Regression Analysis with Error Components," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(4), pages 959-971.
  3. Leibtag, Ephraim S. & Kaufman, Phillip R., 2003. "Exploring Food Purchase Behavior of Low-Income Households: How Do They Economize?," Agricultural Information Bulletins 33711, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  4. Stewart, Hayden & Blisard, Noel & Jolliffe, Dean, 2003. "Do Income Constraints Inhibit Spending on Fruits and Vegetables Among Low-Income Households?," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 28(03), December.
  5. Buchinsky, Moshe, 1994. "Changes in the U.S. Wage Structure 1963-1987: Application of Quantile Regression," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 405-58, March.
  6. Wilde, Parke E. & McNamara, Paul E. & Ranney, Christine K., 2002. "The Effect On Dietary Quality Of Participation In The Food Stamp And Wic Programs," Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Reports 33837, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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