On Modelling Variety in Consumption Expenditure on Food
In the present paper we compute nutrient-expenditure elasticities for two macro nutrients (calories and protein) and five micro nutrients (calcium, thiamine, riboflavin, carotene and iron). We show that in each case the respective elasticities are positive and significant. This lends support to our hypothesis that, in contrast to the results of Behrman and Deolalikar (1987), an increase in income would increase nutrient intake. We then compute difference in the elasticity of substitution for rich and poor across commodity groups (along the lines of Behrman and Deolalkar (1989)) and show that this difference, while significant, is small. This further corroborates our conclusion that increases in income would lead to nutrient intake.