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Is Variety the Spice of Life? Implications for Calorie Intake
Jere R. Behrman and Anil Deolalikar
The Review of Economics and Statistics
Vol. 71, No. 4 (Nov., 1989), pp. 666-672
Published by: The MIT Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1928109
Page Count: 7
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The income elasticity of calories generally is substantially smaller than the income elasticity of food expenditures. 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 budgest 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.
The Review of Economics and Statistics © 1989 The MIT Press