Economies of Scale, Household Size, and the Demand for Food

Posted: 19 Oct 1998

See all articles by Angus Deaton

Angus Deaton

Princeton University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Christina H. Paxson

Princeton University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Abstract

Household scale economies are plausibly attributed to shared household public goods that make larger households better off at the same level of per capita resources. Larger households should therefore have higher per capita consumption of private goods, such as food, provided that they do not substitute too much toward the effectively cheaper public goods. The evidence shows exactly the opposite. Data from rich and poor countries indicate that, at constant per capita total expenditure, the per capita demand for food decreases with household size and that it does so most in the poorest countries, where substitution should be the least.

JEL Classification: O12

Suggested Citation

Deaton, Angus S. and Paxson, Christina H., Economies of Scale, Household Size, and the Demand for Food. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=128848

Angus S. Deaton

Princeton University ( email )

Woodrow Wilson School
Princeton, NJ 08544
United States
609-258-5967 (Phone)
609-258-5974 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.wws.princeton.edu/~deaton

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
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Christina H. Paxson (Contact Author)

Princeton University ( email )

316 Wallace Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544
United States
609-258-6474 (Phone)
609-258-5974 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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