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The major determinants of cereal import demand in seventy-four less developed countries (LDCs) were analyzed through the use of an econometric cross-sectional model. Key explanators included the level of income and degree of urbanization, financial capacity proxies, and domestic grain supply variables. A major innovation involved the analysis of the impact of income distribution on LDC cereal import demand in 1986 and 1987 for a more restricted sample of twenty-three nations. These developing countries exhibit a greater than proportional increase in cereal imports due to an increase in the income share of the poorest 40 percent of their populations. The inclusion of regional slipe and intercept drummies in the cereal import demand model also provided improved results. High levels of government debt appear to have inhibited cereal importation in nations in South America, but not in Asia and Africa. In all three continental regions, particularly in Africa, there is a positive relationship between food aid and cereal imports. The model predicts cereal imports for nations in Asia and South America more satisfactorily than those in Africa. Finally, the resuults support the view that improvements in income distribution in developing nations would considerably stimulate cereal imports.


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