Calorie Intake Responses to Macroeconomic Adjustment

Roehlano M. Briones


The paper characterizes the responses of household calories intake to stabilization and structural adjustment. Using a model of calorie intake response derived from a food demand model of Philippine households, it shows that elasticity of total calories intake with respect to prices and income in absolute terms tend to fall with income, implying an increasing vulnerability to malnourishment of lower income groups to adverse shocks. Then using a general equilibrium model of the Philippine economy, it shows that the effect of the structural adjustment program (specially the 1988-1992 tariff reform program) is small but positive on calorie intake, with higher proportional increases in consumption of calorie sources for the lower income groups. The study indicates that growth policies probably involve no short-term trade-off with nutrient intake, whereas implementation of stabilization policies requires close integration with targeted programs on nutrition intervention and food price subsides.

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