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Estimating the Demand for Calories in India

By Philip J. Dawson and Richard Tiffin


This article examines the long-run relationship between per capita calorie intake, per capita income, and food prices using aggregate data for India, 1961–1992. Cointegration analysis yields an income elasticity of calorie intake of 0.34, while the food-price elasticity is insignificant. Thus, economic growth in India, as measured by increasing per capita income, has significantly improved calorie intake; future income growth can alleviate further inadequate nutrition. However, significant improvements in calorie intake cannot be made directly by food subsidies. A further result is that calorie intake is Granger-caused by income and not vice versa: income generation is unconstrained by calorie intake. Copyright 1998, Oxford University Press.

DOI identifier: 10.2307/1244550
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