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Impact of Income Growth and Economic Reform on Nutrition Intake in Urban China: 1986-2000

Author

Listed:
  • Meng, Xin

    () (Australian National University)

  • Gong, Xiaodong

    () (NATSEM, University of Canberra)

  • Wang, Youjuan

    (Chinese State Statistical Bureau)

Abstract

Although urban China has experienced a rapid income growth over the last twenty years, nutrition intake for the low income group declined in the 1990s. Does this imply a zero or negative income elasticity for the low income group? This paper examines this issue using large representative sample of repeated cross-sectional data for the period 1986-2000. It is found that income elasticities of calorie consumption for urban households are far from zero, and the lower the income level the higher the income elasticity. The main reason for the reduction in calorie consumption for the low income group in the early 1990s was a sharp increase in food price. In addition, in the mid to late 1990s large scale social welfare reform increased households’ need to pay for education, medical, housing expenses and the need to save for future consumption and income uncertainty. These factors seem to have played an important role in suppressing nutrition consumption of the low income group during this period.

Suggested Citation

  • Meng, Xin & Gong, Xiaodong & Wang, Youjuan, 2004. "Impact of Income Growth and Economic Reform on Nutrition Intake in Urban China: 1986-2000," IZA Discussion Papers 1448, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1448
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Honge Gong & Andrew Leigh & Xin Meng, 2012. "Intergenerational Income Mobility In Urban China," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 58(3), pages 481-503, September.
    2. Xiaohua Li & Yaohui Zhao & Lili Lu, 2008. "Effects of Education on Earnings Inequality in Urban China: 1988-2003," Working Papers PMMA 2008-09, PEP-PMMA.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    inequality; income growth; poverty; China;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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