Household characteristics and calorie intake in rural India: a quantile regression approach

Author name: 
Kompal Sinha

The present paper investigates the nutrition demand pattern for rural householdsin India. The non-parametric approach of quantile regression is applied to character-ize the entire distribution of calorie consumption. This technique has an advantageover the traditional ordinary least square technique. It relaxes the assumption ofa constant effect of the explanatory variables over the entire distribution of the de-pendent variable. These effects are allowed to vary over the entire distribution ofdependent variable i.e., in this case the distribution of calorie consumption. The re-sults show that indeed, the responsiveness of calorie consumption to various factorsdiffers across different levels of calorie consumption. A comparison of the quantileregression results with OLS results suggests conclusions and policy suggestions basedon OLS results are unlikely to be ideal. Some further light is also shed on the debateon calorie income elasticity as the magnitude is observed to be different for the un-dernourished and the over nourished households.

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