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The Demand for Food of Poor Urban Mexican Households: Understanding Policy Impacts Using Structural Models

Publication Abstract

Angelucci, Manuela, and O. Attanasio. 2013. "The Demand for Food of Poor Urban Mexican Households: Understanding Policy Impacts Using Structural Models." American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 5(1): 146-178.

We use Oportunidades, a conditional cash transfer to women, to show that standard demand models do not represent the sample's behavior: Oportunidades increases eligible households' food budget shares, despite food being a necessity; demand for food and high-protein food changes over time only in treatment areas; the treatment effects on food and high-protein food consumption are larger than the prediction from the Engel curves at baseline; and the curves do not change in eligible households with high baseline bargaining power for the transfer recipient. Thus, handing transfers to women is a likely determinant of the observed nutritional changes. (JEL D12, H23, J16, O12)

DOI:10.1257/pol.5.1.146 (Full Text)

Country of focus: Mexico.

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