How Elastic is Calorie Demand? Parametric, Nonparametric, and Semiparametric Results for Urban Papua New Guinea

UC Davis Working Paper No. 00-022

32 Pages Posted: 14 Aug 2002

See all articles by Scott Rozelle

Scott Rozelle

University of California, Davis - Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

John Gibson

University of Waikato; Motu Economic and Public Policy Research

Date Written: May 2000

Abstract

This paper seeks further evidence on the elasticity of calorie demand with respect to household resources. The case presented is for urban areas of Papua New Guinea, where just over one-half of the population appear to obtain less than the recommended amount of dietary energy. The relationship between per capita calorie consumption and per capita expenditure in urban areas of Papua New Guinea is not consistent with the view that income changes have negligible effects on nutrient intakes. The unconditional calorie demand elasticity is approximately 0.6 for the poorest half of the population, most of whom have less than the recommended 2000 calories per day available to them. Using parametric and semiparametric estimation to control for a wide range of other influences on calorie consumption does not materially reduce the size of the elasticity. Therefore, these results are not supportive of "growth-pessimism" and instead suggest that policies that increase urban household incomes will also act to reduce undernutrition.

Keywords: Income, Nutrition, Nonparametric, Semiparametric, Papua New Guinea

JEL Classification: I12, 015

Suggested Citation

Rozelle, Scott and Gibson, John, How Elastic is Calorie Demand? Parametric, Nonparametric, and Semiparametric Results for Urban Papua New Guinea (May 2000). UC Davis Working Paper No. 00-022, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=320251 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.320251

Scott Rozelle (Contact Author)

University of California, Davis - Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics ( email )

One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
United States
530-752-9897 (Phone)

John Gibson

University of Waikato ( email )

Te Raupapa
Private Bag 3105
Hamilton, 3240
New Zealand

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research

19 Milne Terrace
Island Bay
Wellington, 6002
New Zealand

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