On modelling variety in consumption expenditure on food

Vol: 
2006/10
Author name: 
Raghbendra Jha
Raghav Gaiha
Anurag Sharma
Year: 
2006
Month: 
August
Abstract: 

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.

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