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Abstract

Food consumption parameters have been estimated for six selected food items-rice, wheat, potatoes, pulses, fish and edible oil-using the Bangladesh 1981-82 Household Expenditure Survey data. For the two major staples rice and wheat, the estimates revealed that while the absolute value of the own-price elasticity for rice of the rural households was twice that of the urban households, the absolute value of that for wheat of the urban households was more than four times that of the rural households. For most of the food items, rural and urban parameters were structurally different. However, estimates by disaggregated income classes revealed that the source of the difference between rural and urban parameters was the high-income households and for the low-income households, the implications of relative price and/or income changes on food consumption remained invariant with respect to their rural-urban locations. In interpreting tne relatively higher values of the parameter estimates of the rural households, the possible bias arising from consumption of own-production needs to be taken Into account.

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