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Demand for Nutrients in India: An analysis based on the 50th, 61st and 66th Rounds of the NSS

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  • Raghav Gaiha
  • Nidhi Kaicker
  • Katsushi Imai
  • Ganesh Thapa

Abstract

In response to the Deaton and Dreze (2009) explanation of a downward shift in the calorie Engel curve in terms of lower requirements due to health improvements and lower activity levels in India, we develop an alternative explanation embedded in a standard demand theory framework, with food price and expenditure effects and shifting food and expenditure elasticities. The analysis is carried out with unit record data for three NSS rounds over the period 1993-2009: 50th, 61st and 66th. There are shifts in demands due to factors other than lower requirements. While an earlier analysis with the 50th and 61st rounds of the NSS over the period 1993-2004 (Gaiha et al., 2012) corroborated in part the Deaton-Dreze conjecture of lower requirements, the extended analysis for 1993-2009 reported here undermines this conjecture as time effects weaken over the more recent period (2004-2009). But there is also weakening of food price and expenditure elasticities over this period. Closer scrutiny of food preferences and taste for variety is necessary to understand better nutritional deprivation as also to design more effective policies to ameliorate it.

Suggested Citation

  • Raghav Gaiha & Nidhi Kaicker & Katsushi Imai & Ganesh Thapa, 2012. "Demand for Nutrients in India: An analysis based on the 50th, 61st and 66th Rounds of the NSS," ASARC Working Papers 2012-08, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.
  • Handle: RePEc:pas:asarcc:2012-08
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Raghbendra Jha & Raghav Gaiha & Anurag Sharma, 2009. "Modelling variety in consumption expenditure on food in India," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(4), pages 503-519.
    2. 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.
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    1. Raghav Gaiha & Nidhi Kaicker & Katsushi S. Imai & Ganesh Thapa, 2012. "Agriculture-Nutrition Pathway in India," Discussion Paper Series DP2012-16, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
    2. Imai, Katsushi S. & Gaiha, Raghav & Thapa, Ganesh, 2015. "Does non-farm sector employment reduce rural poverty and vulnerability? Evidence from Vietnam and India," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 47-61.
    3. Katsushi S. Imai & Raghav Gaiha & Woojin Kang & Samuel Annim & Ganesh Thapa, 2012. "Does Risk Matter? A Semi-parametric Model for Educational Choices in the Presence of Uncertainty," Economics Discussion Paper Series 1226, Economics, The University of Manchester.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    calories; protein; fat; food prices; expenditure; India;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty

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