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Trade, tastes and Nutrition in India


  • David Atkin

    () (Economic Growth Center, Yale University)


This paper introduces habit formation into an otherwise standard model of international trade. Household tastes evolve over time to favor foods consumed as a child. The opening of trade causes preferred goods to rise in price, as these were relatively inexpensive in autarky. Neglecting the correlation between tastes and agro-climatic endowments overstates the short-run nutritional gains from agricultural trade liberalization and masks potential caloric losses for laborers. I examine the predictions of this model of trade with habit formation using household survey data from India, both by looking across Indian regions and by examining the consumption patterns of inter-state migrants.

Suggested Citation

  • David Atkin, 2010. "Trade, tastes and Nutrition in India," Working Papers 986, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  • Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:986

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brian W. Gould, 2003. "An Empirical Assessment of Endogeneity Issues in Demand Analysis for Differentiated Products," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(3), pages 605-617.
    2. James Melvin & Robert Waschik, 2001. "The neoclassical ambiguity in the specific factor model," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(3), pages 321-337.
    3. James H. Stock & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Testing for Weak Instruments in Linear IV Regression," NBER Technical Working Papers 0284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Raghbendra Jha & K.V. Bhanu Murthy & Anurag Sharma, 2005. "Market Integration in Wholesale Rice Markets in India," ASARC Working Papers 2005-03, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.
    5. John Kennan, 1989. "Simultaneous Equations Bias in Disaggregated Econometric Models," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(1), pages 151-156.
    6. Prema-Chandra Athukorala, 2005. "Agricultural Trade Policy Reforms in India," South Asia Economic Journal, Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka, vol. 6(1), pages 23-36, March.
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    More about this item


    international trade; habit formation; India; Tastes; nutrition;

    JEL classification:

    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • Q17 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agriculture in International Trade
    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General

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