Seasonal Price Variability and the Effective Demand for Nutrients: Evidence from Cereal Markets in Mali
This study uses panel data from a 2000-2001 household consumption survey undertaken in Bamako to estimate nutrient-income and price elasticities by season and for the entire year and examine the effects of intra-year price variation on nutrient demand. It explores the impact of cereal market liberalization dating back to the 1980's, which resulted in more variable food prices and have raised concerns from policy makers over time. The study finds income elasticities for calories (from 0.102 to 0.193) vary less across seasons than those for micronutrients (for example vitamin A from 0.492 to 0.725). The pooled data results show that a 10 percent growth in real incomes will increase the demand for calories (+1.62 %), protein (+1.91%), calcium (+1.98%), vitamin A (+7.21%) and iron (+1.29%). A signficant finding is that price fluctuations of staples can significantly affect the consumption of protein and micronutrients that the staples themselves do not contain.
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