Nutrition Economics

Nutrition Economics

Principles and Policy Applications

1st Edition - November 2, 2016

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  • Authors: Suresh Babu, Shailendra N. Gajanan, J. Arne Hallam
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128011508
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780128008782

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Nutrition Economics: Principles and Policy Applications establishes the core criteria for consideration as new policies and regulations are developed, including application-based principles that ensure practical, effective implementation of policy. From the economic contribution of nutrition on quality of life, to the costs of malnutrition on society from both an individual and governmental level, this book guides the reader through the factors that can determine the success or failure of a nutrition policy. Written by an expert in policy development, and incorporating an encompassing view of the factors that impact nutrition from an economic standpoint (and their resulting effects), this book is unique in its focus on guiding other professionals and those in advanced stages of study to important considerations for correct policy modeling and evaluation. As creating policy without a comprehensive understanding of the relevant contributing factors that lead to failure is not an option, this book provides a timely reference.

Key Features

  • Connects the direct and indirect impacts of economic policy on nutritional status
  • Provides practical insights into the analysis of nutrition policies and programs that will produce meaningful results
  • Presents a hands-on approach on how to apply economic theory to the design of nutritional policies and programs


Advanced graduate students and researchers in biology and agriculture; also, technical and development officials, extension staff, and policy planners

Table of Contents

  • Part A: Introduction

    Chapter 1. Why Study the Economics of Nutrition?

    • Abstract
    • Organization of the Book Chapters

    Chapter 2. Global Nutritional Challenges and Targets: A Development and Policy Perspective

    • Abstract
    • Global Nutrition Challenges
    • Calorie-Deficient Diet
    • Micronutrient Deficiencies
    • Stunting
    • Wasting
    • Overweight and Obesity
    • Exclusive Breast Feeding
    • Lower Birth Weight
    • Malnutrition From a Development and Policy Perspective
    • How can the Global Community Organize to Achieve the Global Nutrition Goals?
    • Global Nutrition Goals for 2025
    • What Have We Learned and How Do We Move Forward?
    • Increasing Investments in Nutrition
    • The Role of Continued Documentation of Evidence
    • Increasing the Commitment to Nutrition
    • Monitoring and Tracking Nutrition Progress
    • Investing in Open Data Systems
    • Recent Global Initiatives
    • Policy Process and Best Practices
    • Local Ownership and Leadership
    • The Role of Civil Society
    • Multisectoral Approach
    • Emerging Challenges
    • Research Gaps
    • Conclusions
    • Exercises

    Chapter 3. A Conceptual Framework for Investing in Nutrition: Issues, Challenges, and Analytical Approaches

    • Abstract
    • Problems of Poverty, Hunger, and Malnutrition
    • Causes of Malnutrition: A Conceptual Framework
    • Rationale for Investing in Nutrition
    • Nutrition and Other Development Objectives
    • Nutrition Challenges and Their Economic Policy Analysis
    • Conclusions
    • Exercises

    Part B: Economic Analysis of Nutrition

    Chapter 4. Microeconomic Nutrition Policy

    • Abstract
    • Introduction
    • The Household as the Decision-Making Unit
    • Household Equilibrium and Demand for Nutrients
    • Basic Concepts of Demand for Food
    • Derivation of Engel Curves From Income Consumption Lines
    • Deriving the Household Demand Curve for a Fiber-Rich Diet
    • Demand for Nonfood Factors for Optimal Nutrition
    • Production of Nutrition With Food and Nonfood Inputs
    • Dynamics of Nutrition Choices
    • Cultural Factors Affecting Food Consumption and Nutrition
    • Conclusions
    • Exercises

    Chapter 5. Macroeconomic Aspects of Nutrition Policy

    • Abstract
    • Introduction
    • Conceptual Framework
    • Nutritional Impact of Macroeconomic Shocks and Policies
    • Elements of Macroeconomic Policy and Their Implications
    • How Do Macroeconomic Adjustment Policies Affect Nutritional Outcomes?
    • Analytical Methods for Studying the Impact of Macroeconomic Policies on Nutrition
    • Macro–Meso–Micro Policy Linkages in the Context of Nutrition
    • Conclusion
    • Exercises

    Part C: Economics of Nutrient Demand

    Chapter 6. Consumer Theory and Estimation of Demand for Food

    • Abstract
    • Derivation of Consumer Demand Functions
    • Testing for Separability
    • Aggregating Consumer Demand for Policy Analysis
    • Duality, Indirect Utility, and Cost Minimization
    • Introduction to Empirical Demand Systems
    • Food Demand Studies in Developing and Developed Countries
    • Empirical Implementation in STATA
    • Calculating Elasticities
    • Conclusions
    • Exercises

    Chapter 7. Demand for Nutrients and Policy Implications

    • Abstract
    • Introduction
    • Studies on Nutrient Demand
    • Recent Studies From Asia
    • The United States
    • Estimation of Nutrition Elasticities
    • Can Subsidies Improve Nutrition?
    • Implementation in STATA
    • Example 1: The Effect of a Subsidy
    • Example 2: Based on Jensen-Miller (2011)
    • Example 3: Based on Kaushal and Muchomba (2015)
    • Example 4: Based on Chang et al. (2015)
    • Conclusions
    • Exercises

    Part D: Determinants of Nutritional Status and Causal Analysis

    Chapter 8. Socio Economic Determinants of Nutrition: Application of Quantile Regression

    • Abstract
    • Introduction
    • Safe Water, Sanitation, Mothers’ Education, Children’s Diets, and Nutrition
    • Are Nutritional Outcomes Age-Specific?
    • Double Burden and Socio Economic Determinants in Indonesian Households
    • Policy Issues for Reducing Under-Nutrition: An Example
    • Generating Analytical Results for Policy Discussions
    • Quantile Estimation Using STATA
    • Conclusions
    • Exercises

    Chapter 9. Intra-Household Allocation and Gender Bias in Nutrition: Application of Heckman Two-Step Procedure

    • Abstract
    • Introduction
    • Economics of Intra-Household Behavior
    • Models of Intra-Household Decision-Making
    • Are Girls Eating More? A Review of Selected Studies
    • Policy Applications of Studies on Intra-Household Resource Allocation
    • Generating Analytical Results
    • Implementation in STATA
    • Conclusions
    • Exercises

    Chapter 10. Economics of Child Care, Water, Sanitation, Hygiene, and Health: The Application of the Blinder–Oaxaca Decomposition Method

    • Abstract
    • Introduction
    • Conceptual Approach
    • What Do We Know: Policy Lessons?
    • Child Malnutrition and Rights to Water and Sanitation
    • The Asian Enigma
    • Child Care, Fertility, and Malnutrition
    • Health Care and Nutrition
    • Ecohealth Approaches: Maharashtra, India, Cameroon, and Lebanon
    • Panagaria–Gillespie Debates and Policy Considerations
    • Analytical Methods
    • Implementation in STATA
    • Conclusions
    • Exercises

    Part E: Program Evaluation and Analysis of Nutrition Policies

    Chapter 11. Methods of Program Evaluation: An Analytical Review and Implementation Strategies

    • Abstract
    • Introduction
    • Analytical Methods
    • Implementation in STATA: Test Scores and Free Lunch
    • Implementation in STATA: IV Estimation, Test Scores, and Free Lunch
    • Example: Test Scores and Free Lunch
    • Implementation in STATA
    • Implementation in STATA
    • Example
    • Conclusions
    • Exercises

    Chapter 12. Nutritional Implications of Social Protection: Application of Panel Data Method

    • Abstract
    • Placing Social Protection Programs in a Larger Development Context
    • A Conceptual Framework for Evaluating Social Protection Programs for Nutritional Outcomes
    • Designing and Implementing Social Protection: What Is the Best Approach?
    • What Does the Current Literature Show?
    • Safety Net in Ethiopia: Policy Lessons
    • Brazil’s Bolsa Familia: Cash Transfers Are Not Enough
    • Nutria-Cookies, Child Labor, and Safety Net Programs in India
    • Bangladesh Social Protection With a Behavioral Change Component
    • Safety Nets and Nutrition in India
    • The Great Recession and the Social Safety Net in the United States
    • Analytical Methods
    • Empirical Example in STATA
    • Conclusions
    • Exercises

    Chapter 13. Economics of School Nutrition: An Application of Regression Discontinuity

    • Abstract
    • Introduction
    • What Do We Know From Existing Literature?
    • Lessons From the Evaluations of the International Agencies
    • How Many Kids Are Fed in Schools?
    • The Bottom Line
    • The Importance of School Feeding Programs
    • The Challenges With School Feeding Programs
    • School Feeding Programs in the United States
    • Do School Breakfast Programs Work?
    • School Feeding Programs Global Evolution
    • Analytical Results: Application of Regression Discontinuity
    • Implementation in STATA
    • Conclusions
    • Exercises

    Part F: Economics of Triple Burden: Under-Nutrition, Over-Nutrition, Micronutrient Deficiencies

    Chapter 14. Economic Analysis of Obesity and Impact on Quality of Life: Application of NonParametric Methods

    • Abstract
    • Introduction
    • The Economic Effects of Obesity on Human Capital
    • Health Costs of Obesity
    • Causes of Obesity in America
    • How Safe Are the Safety Nets in the United States?
    • Income Effects and Childhood Obesity
    • Obesity in Suburbia
    • Urban Sprawl, Remoteness, and the Built Environment
    • Can Higher Gas Prices Reduce Obesity?
    • Urban Sprawl and the Walmart Effect
    • The Built Environment: Obesity, Parks, and Recreation
    • The Built Environment: Junk Foods, Vending Machines, Video Games, and Grades
    • Food Deserts
    • Fast-Food and Obesity
    • Policy Challenges: Will Fat-Taxes or Soda-Taxes Work?
    • Peer Effects, Social Networks, Dating, and Obesity
    • Obesity in Other Developed Countries
    • Other Obese Groups
    • Policy: Should We Worry About Obesity?
    • Does Public Opinion Sway Policy?
    • Policy Angle From Behavioral Economics
    • The Moral Hazard Problem and Policy Headaches
    • Can Nutrition Labeling, Packaging, Advertising, Law, and Education Help?
    • Nonparametric Regression in STATA: Testing Obesity and Food Insecurity
    • Conclusions
    • Exercises

    Part G: Special Topics in Nutrition Policy

    Chapter 15. Agriculture, Nutrition, Health: How to Bring Multiple Sectors to Work on Nutritional Goals

    • Abstract
    • Introduction
    • Conceptual Framework
    • Dietary Diversity
    • Bio-Fortification
    • Nutrition Value Chains
    • Connecting the Sectors Through Multi-Sector Programming
    • Conclusions
    • Exercises

    Chapter 16. Designing a Decentralized Food System to Meet Nutrition Needs: An Optimization Approach

    • Abstract
    • A Practical Tool for Designing Decentralized Food Nutrition Interventions
    • Application of the Model to the Food System in Malawi
    • Conclusions
    • Exercises

    Part H: Conclusion

    Chapter 17. Future Directions for Nutrition Policy Making and Implementation

    • Abstract

Product details

  • No. of pages: 404
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2016
  • Published: November 2, 2016
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128011508
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780128008782

About the Authors

Suresh Babu

Suresh C Babu is a Senior Research Fellow and Head of Capacity Strengthening at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Washington D.C. Before joining IFPRI in 1992 as a Research Fellow, Dr. Babu was a Research Economist at the Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. Between 1989 and 1994 he spent 5 years in Malawi, Southern Africa on various capacities. He was Senior Food Policy Advisor to the Malawi Ministry of Agriculture on developing a national level Food and Nutrition Information System; an Evaluation Economist for the UNICEF-Malawi working on designing food and nutrition intervention programs; Coordinator of UNICEF/IFPRI food security program in Malawi; and a Senior Lecturer at the Bunda College of Agriculture, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANR). He has been coordinator of IFPRI’s South Asia Initiative and Central Asia Program. His past research covers a range of developmental issues including nutrition economics and policy, economics of soil fertility, famine prevention, market integration, migration, pesticide pollution, groundwater depletion, and gender bias in development. He has published more than 18 books and monographs and 80 peer reviewed journal papers. He has been on the advisory board of World Agricultural Forum and a Coordinating Lead Author of Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. He currently conducts research on Capacity Development including Economic Analysis of Extension and Advisory Services; Reforming of National agricultural Research Systems; Understanding Policy Process; and Institutional Innovations for Agricultural Transformation. He is or has been a Visiting as Honorary Professor of Indira Gandhi National Open University, India, American University, Washington DC, University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa, and Zhejiang University, China. He currently serves or has served on the editorial boards of the following journals – Food Security, Food and Nutrition Bulletin, Agricultural Economics Research Review, African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, African Journal of Management, and African Journal of Food, Nutrition, and Development. Dr. Babu was educated at Agricultural Universities in Tamil Nadu, India (B.S. Agriculture; M.S. Agriculture) and at Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa (M.S. Economics and PhD Economics).

Affiliations and Expertise

Senior Research Fellow and Head of Capacity Strengthening, International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, DC, USA

Shailendra N. Gajanan

Shailendra Gajanan is a Professor in the Department of Economics, and is the Chair of the Department of Business Management and Education at the University of Pittsburgh, Bradford. He received his BA and MA in Economics from the Presidency College and the Loyola College, University of Madras, India. He received and MA (1985) from the University of Akron, Ohio and PhD (1991) in Economics from the University of Pittsburgh. He joined the faculty of the Social Sciences Division at the University of Pittsburgh in 1991. He served previously as the Chair of the Social Sciences Division. Dr. Gajanan has served as the Program Director for Economics and has taught lower and upper level theory and policy classes in economic theory, econometrics, game theory, as well as applied classes in global hunger and environmental economics. He has also taught courses in India and West Germany. He supervises and directs International Study Abroad Programs and is slated to coordinate the Pitt-in-Himalayas in the summer of 2016. He has also served as an external evaluator on several thesis committees from universities in India and Malaysia. Dr. Gajanan’s research focuses on applied microeconomics dealing with water depletion within the commons, capacity utilization in manufacturing, the premium in the labor market for skills with English, and the impact of Category Management on product assortment in retail. He is the co-author of Food Security, Poverty and Nutrition Policy Analysis: Statistical Methods and Applications (Elsevier 2014).

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor, Department of Economics, Department of Business Management and Education, University of Pittsburgh, Bradford, USA

J. Arne Hallam

Arne Hallam is a Professor in the Department of Economics, and Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State University. He received his B.S. in Agricultural Economics from Brigham Young University in 1977. He received M.S. (1980) and PhD (1983) degrees in agricultural and recourse economics from the University of California, Berkeley. He joined the faculty of the economics department at Iowa State University in 1983. He served as chair of the Department of Economics from 2000-2009. He served previously as Director of Undergraduate Programs and Director of Graduate Studies. He has been Associate Dean in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences since 2009. Dr. Hallam has served as major professor for 26 graduate students and as a committee for more than 100 additional students. He has taught 24 different courses since leaving graduate school, 15 at the graduate level, including courses in economic theory, mathematical economics, statistics, and operations research, as well as field courses in agricultural economics, industrial organization, and environmental economics. At the undergraduate level he has taught a wide range of courses including economic principles, industrial organization, mathematical economics, agricultural ethics, economic development and sustainability. He has also taught courses in Egypt, India and Jordan. Dr. Hallam's research primarily relates to the economics of agriculture, resources, the environment, and energy. He is particularly interested in problems related to risk, uncertainty, asymmetric information, and the development of incentive compatible policies to enhance social welfare. Most of his recent work has to do with biomass production and utilization, water policy, and sustainability. Dr. Hallam has been a Boy Scout Leader for over 25 years. He and his wife have four children and 9 grandchildren.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Economics and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Iowa State University, Iowa, USA

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