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Why Is Food Cheaper in Rich (European) Countries?

  • Leon Podkaminer

    ()

    (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)

Relative to non-food items, food tends to be cheaper in rich, as compared with poor European countries. This tendency cannot be explained in terms of cost developments or foreign-trade considerations. A positive explanation proposed focuses on demand-income-supply interaction. An analysis of a cross-country price-augmented modification of Engel's Law, econometrically specified, indicates that the relative price of food is related positively to the supply of food items and negatively to that of non-food items. This finding is consistent with ┬┐agricultural price scissors' and also casts a different light on the nature of economic development and structural change.

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Paper provided by The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw in its series wiiw Research Reports with number 322.

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Length: 31 pages including 2 Tables and 6 Figures
Date of creation: Oct 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published as wiiw Research Report
Handle: RePEc:wii:rpaper:rr:322
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  1. Leon Podkaminer, 2003. "Analytical notes on the Balassa-Samuelson effect," Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 56(226), pages 207-221.
  2. Deaton, Angus S & Muellbauer, John, 1980. "An Almost Ideal Demand System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 312-26, June.
  3. Irving B. Kravis & Robert E. Lipsey, 1982. "Towards an Explanation of National Price Levels," NBER Working Papers 1034, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Clements, Kenneth W & Selvanathan, Saroja, 1994. "Understanding Consumption Patterns," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 69-110.
  5. Syrquin, Moshe, 1988. "Patterns of structural change," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 203-273 Elsevier.
  6. Bela Balassa, 1964. "The Purchasing-Power Parity Doctrine: A Reappraisal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72, pages 584.
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