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Is Variety the Spice of Life? Implications for Calorie Intake

Jere Behrman and Anil Deolalikar ()

The Review of Economics and Statistics, 1989, vol. 71, issue 4, 666-72

Abstract: The income elasticity of calories generally is substantially smaller than the income elasticity of food expenditure. One reason may be an increasing concern for food variety as incomes increase. Food variety can be linked with two characteristics of food indifference curves: (1) curvature and (2) location of the curves relative to the axes. Estimates suggest increasing taste for variety as food budgets increase. Therefore, such taste for variety apparently underlies in part the low income elasticities for calorie demand, which in turn cast doubt on the World Bank assertion that the nutrient intakes of poor populations will improve rapidly with income. Copyright 1989 by MIT Press.

Date: 1989
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The Review of Economics and Statistics is currently edited by Amitabh Chandra, Olivier Coibion, Bryan S. Graham, Shachar Kariv, Amit K. Khandelwal, Asim Ijaz Khwaja, Brigitte C. Madrian and Rohini Pande

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