The Demand for Food and Calories
The authors investigate nutrition and expenditure in rural Maharashtra in India. They estimate that the elasticity of calorie consumption with respect to total expenditure is 0.3-0.5, a range that is in accord with conventional wisdom. The elasticity declines only slowly with levels of living and is far from the value of zero suggested by a recent revisionist literature. In these Indian data, the calories necessary for a day's activity cost less than 5 percent of the daily wage, which makes it implausible that income is constrained by nutrition rather than the other way around. Copyright 1996 by University of Chicago Press.
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