Heterogeneity in Food Demand among Rural Indian Households: The Role of Demographics

Aditya R. Khanal, Ashok K. Mishra, Walter Keithly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Food expenditures, influenced by social, demographic, and economic factors, constitute a significant proportion of the typical rural Indian's household income. Based on cross-sectional household data, this study employs the Quadratic Almost Ideal Demand System to estimate food demand among rural Indian households. Special attention is given to the rural household's two-stage budgeting in total food expenditure and then to a demand for a specific food item. Conditional and unconditional expenditure and price elasticities for seven food groups are estimated. Results indicate that own-price elasticities for each group are negative ranging from fairly inelastic to elastic range. Expenditure elasticities indicate that food items are a normal necessity to luxury goods. Additionally, socio-demographic factors play a significant role in food consumption patterns. Based on our unconditional expenditure elasticities, we also project food demand from rural Indian households for next two decades.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCanadian Journal of Agricultural Economics
StateAccepted/In press - 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Ecology
  • Global and Planetary Change


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