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Title: The determinants of demand for calories and dietary diversity in developing countries evidence from Iraq
Author: San-Ahmed, Arsalan
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis contributes to the recent empirical literature concerning demand for calories and dietary diversity, using household survey data from Iraq. To the best of our knowledge, there is no study which investigates the demand for calories and dietary diversity in this country in a comprehensive way. This work provides detailed descriptive statistics about household consumption behaviour and the related issues, using both time-series and cross-sectional data from Iraq. Additionally, it computes quality-adjusted prices that do not contain demandrelated effects. Evidence indicates that the performance of the Iraqi economy during the past four decades has been dismal, and the country has recently become one of the biggest importers of food products in the region. The study finds that the households allocate on average more than half of their food expenditures to vegetables and meat, and that the average per capita calories is about 3.7% below the national minimum recommended. The computed Gini coefficients of expenditure and of calorie consumption are 0.33 and 0.35, respectively. The study finds that urban households consume more per capita calories than rural households. The households in the Kurdistan region consume a considerably higher amount of per capita calories than the national minimum recommended level of calories. Each person/adult needs approximately US$1.89 daily in order to obtain the national minimum recommended level of calories. The 'direct method' of calorie-demand computation was adopted in order to analyse the relationship between calories and a number of important determinants. Three different methods were used to compute dietary diversity. The results show that income has a significantly positive and nonlinear effect on both calories and dietary diversity. Calorie-income elasticity in Iraq is far from the value of zero, and all calorie-price elasticities are negative and inelastic. The thesis finds that a wide range of socioeconomic factors have a significant impact on demand for calories and dietary diversity, such as women's education, household size and composition, characteristics of the household head , and regional and seasonal factors.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available