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On Modelling Variety in Consumption Expenditure on Food


  • Raghbendra Jha


  • Raghav Gaiha
  • Anurag Sharma


In this paper we compute nutrient-expenditure elasticities for two macro nutrients (calories and protein) and five micro nutrients (calcium, thiamine, riboflavin, calcium and iron) using an all India sample of rural households for 1994. We show that in each case the respective elasticities are positive and significant. This lends support to our hypothesis that an increase in income would increase nutrient intake by varying amounts, contrary to some assertions. We then compute differences in the elasticity of substitution for rich and poor across commodity groups and show that these differences, while significant, are small. This further corroborates our conclusion that increases in income of the poor would lead to greater increases in their nutrient intake as compared to the non-poor, although the magnitudes will be small.

Suggested Citation

  • Raghbendra Jha & Raghav Gaiha & Anurag Sharma, 2006. "On Modelling Variety in Consumption Expenditure on Food," ASARC Working Papers 2006-09, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.
  • Handle: RePEc:pas:asarcc:2006-09

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Raghbendra Jha & Raghav Gaiha & Anurag Sharma, 2005. "Poverty Nutrition Trap in Rural India," Departmental Working Papers 2005-02, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
    2. Raghbendra Jha & Raghav Gaiha, 2004. "Undernutrition, Poverty and Growth in Rural India - A Regional Analysis," ASARC Working Papers 2004-02, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.
    3. Angus Deaton and Jean Drèze & Jean Drèze, 2002. "Poverty and Inequality in India: A Reexamination," Working papers 107, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
    4. Behrman, Jere R & Deolalikar, Anil B, 1989. "Is Variety the Spice of Life? Implications for Calorie Intake," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(4), pages 666-672, November.
    5. 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.
    6. David E. Sahn & David C. Stifel, 2002. "Robust Comparisons of Malnutrition in Developing Countries," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(3), pages 716-735.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gillespie, Stuart & Harris, Jody & Kadiyala, Suneetha, 2012. "The Agriculture-Nutrition Disconnect in India: What Do We Know?:," IFPRI discussion papers 1187, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Raghav Gaiha, & Ganesh Thapa, 2007. "Supermarkets, Smallholders and Livelihoods Prospects in Selected Asian Countries," ASARC Working Papers 2007-12, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.
    3. Raghav Gaiha & Vani Kulkarni & Manoj Pandey & Katsushi Imai, 2009. "Pro-poor growth, poverty, and inequality in rural Vietnam: welfare gap between the ethnic majority and minority," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0907, Economics, The University of Manchester.

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    JEL classification:

    • C34 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Truncated and Censored Models; Switching Regression Models
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J43 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Agricultural Labor Markets

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