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The Supply of Calories, Proteins, and Fats in Low-Income Countries: A Four-Decade Retrospective Study

Vasilii Erokhin (), Li Diao, Tianming Gao, Jean-Vasile Andrei, Anna Ivolga and Yuhang Zong
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Li Diao: School of Economics and Management, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
Tianming Gao: School of Economics and Management, Harbin Engineering University, Harbin 150001, China
Jean-Vasile Andrei: Faculty of Economic Sciences, Petroleum-Gas University of Ploiesti, 100680 Ploiesti, Romania
Anna Ivolga: Faculty of Social and Cultural Service and Tourism, Stavropol State Agrarian University, 355017 Stavropol, Russia
Yuhang Zong: School of Economics and Management, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China

IJERPH, 2021, vol. 18, issue 14, 1-30

Abstract: Over the past decades, both the quantity and quality of food supply for millions of people have improved substantially in the course of economic growth across the developing world. However, the number of undernourished people has resumed growth in the 2010s amid food supply disruptions, economic slowdowns, and protectionist restrictions to agricultural trade. Having been common to most nations, these challenges to the food security status of the population still vary depending on the level of economic development and national income of individual countries. In order to explore the long-run determinants of food supply transformations, this study employs five-stage multiple regression analysis to identify the strengths and directions of effects of agricultural production parameters, income level, price indices, food trade, and currency exchange on supply of calories, proteins, and fats across 11 groups of agricultural products in 1980–2018. To address the diversity of effects across developing nations, the study includes 99 countries of Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa categorized as low-income, lower-middle-income, and upper-middle-income economies. It is found that in low-income countries, food supply parameters are more strongly affected by production factors compared to economic and trade variables. The effect of economic factors on the food supply of higher-value food products, such as meat and dairy products, fruit, and vegetables, increases with the rise in the level of income, but it stays marginal for staples in all three groups of countries. The influence of trade factors on food supply is stronger compared to production and economic parameters in import-dependent economies irrelevant of the gross national income per capita. The approach presented in this paper contributes to the research on how food supply patterns and their determinants evolve in the course of economic transformations in low-income countries.

Keywords: calories; diet; fat; food intake; food security; income; proteins; trade (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I I1 I3 Q Q5 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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