Economic Research Report No. (ERR-54) 29 pp

January 2008

Are Lower Income Households Willing and Able To Budget for Fruits and Vegetables?

Households have a number of needs and wants that all compete for scarce resources. Given this situation, are low-income households, in particular, generally willing and able to budget for healthful foods like fruits and vegetables, or are other goods and services, including other foods, more of a priority? For six out of seven selected types of food, we find that households with an income below 130 percent of the poverty line spend less money than higher income households. However, we also find that these households, when given a small increase in income, will allocate more money to only two out of the seven products, beef and frozen prepared foods. These foods may be priorities for reasons of taste and convenience. For additional money to be allocated to fruits and vegetables, a household's income needs to be slightly greater than 130 percent of the poverty line.

Keywords: Food expenditures, fruits, vegetables, hierarchical demand, low-income households, food spending

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Last updated: Monday, January 07, 2008

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