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Do the Urban Poor Face Higher Food Prices? Evidence from Vietnam

Whether the poor face higher food prices is unsettled in the literature after more than four decades of study. While unit values from household surveys suggest higher prices for the poor, outlet surveys typically find food prices varying with store type but not with neighborhood income. Most outlet surveys are from rich countries, with just one spatially limited study from a developing country. In this paper we use especially collected food price data from metropolitan areas of Vietnam to test whether the urban poor face higher food prices. We also link the price surveys to a household survey to examine whether household survey and outlet data both give the same answer to the question of whether the poor face higher prices.

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File URL: ftp://mngt.waikato.ac.nz/RePEc/wai/econwp/1216.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Waikato, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 12/16.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: 12 Dec 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wai:econwp:12/16
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  1. Christophe Muller, 2005. "The measurement of poverty with geographical and intertemporal price dispersion, Evidence from Rwanda," Working Papers DT/2005/16, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
  2. Deaton, A., 1990. "Price Elasticities From Surveys Data: Extensions And Indonesian Results," Papers 69, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
  3. Frankel, David M. & Gould, Eric, 2001. "The Retail Price of Inequality," Staff General Research Papers 11922, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  4. Kunreuther, Howard, 1973. "Why the Poor May Pay More for Food: Theoretical and Empirical Evidence," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(3), pages 368-83, July.
  5. MacDonald, James M. & Nelson, Paul Jr., 1991. "Do the poor still pay more? Food price variations in large metropolitan areas," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 344-359, November.
  6. Rao, Vijayendra, 2000. "Price Heterogeneity and "Real" Inequality: A Case Study of Prices and Poverty in Rural South India," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(2), pages 201-11, June.
  7. Peter Timmer, 2009. "Rice Price Formation in the Short Run and the Long Run: The Role of Market Structure in Explaining Volatility," Working Papers 172, Center for Global Development.
  8. Timothy K.M. Beatty, 2010. "Do the Poor Pay More for Food?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 92(3), pages 608-621.
  9. John Gibson & Scott Rozelle, 2005. "Prices and Unit Values in Poverty Measurement and Tax Reform Analysis," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 19(1), pages 69-97.
  10. Musgrove, Philip & Galindo, Osmil, 1988. "Do the Poor Pay More? Retail Food Prices in Northeast Brazil," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(1), pages 91-109, October.
  11. Vu, Linh & Glewwe, Paul, 2011. "Impacts of Rising Food Prices on Poverty and Welfare in Vietnam," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 36(1), April.
  12. McKelvey, Christopher, 2011. "Price, unit value, and quality demanded," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 157-169, July.
  13. Ronald U. Mendoza, 2011. "Why do the poor pay more? Exploring the poverty penalty concept," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(1), pages 1-28, January.
  14. Mergenthaler, Marcus & Weinberger, Katinka & Qaim, Matin, 2009. "The food system transformation in developing countries: A disaggregate demand analysis for fruits and vegetables in Vietnam," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 426-436, October.
  15. Kaufman, Phillip R. & MacDonald, James M. & Lutz, Steve M. & Smallwood, David M., 1997. "Do the Poor Pay More for Food? Item Selection and Price Differences Affect Low-Income Household Food Costs," Agricultural Economics Reports 34065, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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