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Abstract

Over the past three decades, several studies have analyzed the response of calorie intake to income with varying and inconclusive results. This paper review these studies and employs meta-analysis to examine the potential bias in the calorie-income elasticity, as well as the impact of specific study attributes on these elasticities reported in the empirical literature. A total of 40 studies which yielded 99 estimated elasticities were considered. The results show the presence of publication (reporting) selection bias in the reported elasticities. Besides, the estimates revealed evidence of positive and significant empirical effect of income on calorie intake from all the studies that goes beyond publication bias. Study attributes such as ranking of the journal, panel data used in the analysis, whether expenditure was used as proxy for income, year of primary survey, sample size, and numbers of the years of primary data were found to have significant impacts on the reported calorie-income elasticities in the literature.

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