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American Economic Review: Vol. 103 No. 5 (August 2013)

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Trade, Tastes, and Nutrition in India

Article Citation

Atkin, David. 2013. "Trade, Tastes, and Nutrition in India." American Economic Review, 103(5): 1629-63.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.5.1629

Abstract

This paper explores the causes and consequences of regional taste differences. I introduce habit formation into a standard general equilibrium model. Household tastes evolve over time to favor foods consumed as a child. Thus, locally abundant foods are preferred in every region, as they were relatively inexpensive in prior generations. These patterns alter the correspondence between price changes and nutrition. For example, neglecting this relationship between tastes and agro-climatic endowments overstates the short-run nutritional gains from agricultural trade liberalization, since preferred foods rise in price in every region. I examine the model's predictions using household survey data from many regions of India.

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Authors

Atkin, David (Yale U)

JEL Classifications

D12: Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
I12: Health Production
O12: Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
O18: Economic Development: Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
R23: Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics: Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population; Neighborhood Characteristics


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