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

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

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Published by Ann Cook
By Hayden Stewart and Noel Blisard

Economic Research Report No. (ERR-54) 29 pp, January 2008

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.
By Hayden Stewart and Noel Blisard

Economic Research Report No. (ERR-54) 29 pp, January 2008

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.

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Published by: Ann Cook on Dec 02, 2008
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EconomicResearchReportNumber 54January 2008
United StatesDepartmentof Agriculture
EconomicResearchService
Hayden StewartNoel Blisard
Are Lower Income HouseholdsWilling and Able To Budgetfor Fruits and Vegetables?
 
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Stewart, HaydenAre lower income households willing and able to budget for fruitsand vegetables?(Economic research report (United States. Dept. of Agriculture.Economic Research Service) ; no. 54)1. Poor—United States. 2. Food consumption—United States.3. Fruit—Economic aspects—United States. 4.Vegetables—Economic aspects—United States.5. Consumer behavior—United States. 6. Cost and standard ofliving—United States I. Blisard, William Noel.II. United States. Dept. of Agriculture. Economic Research Service.III. Title.HD9220.U62Photo: Shutterstock
www.ers.usda.gov
 
Abstract
Households have a number of needs and wants that all compete for scarceresources. Given this situation, are low-income households, in particular,generally willing and able to budget for healthful foods like fruits andvegetables, or are other goods and services, including other foods, more of apriority? For six out of seven selected types of food, we find that house-holds with an income below 130 percent of the poverty line spend lessmoney than higher income households. However, we also find that thesehouseholds, when given a small increase in income, will allocate moremoney to only two out of the seven products, beef and frozen preparedfoods. These foods may be priorities for reasons of taste and convenience.For additional money to be allocated to fruits and vegetables, a household’sincome needs to be slightly greater than 130 percent of the poverty line.
Keywords
: food expenditures, fruits, vegetables, hierarchical demand, low-income households, food spending
Acknowledgments
The authors thank Abebayehu Tegene and Elise Golan as well as severalanonymous reviewers for their thoughtful comments and suggestions. Wealso thank Dale Simms for his editorial assistance.
Are Lower IncomeHouseholds Willing andAble To Budget for Fruitsand Vegetables?
Hayden Stewart and Noel Blisard
United
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Departmentof A
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riculture
www.er
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s
da.
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Electronic Report from the Economic Re
s
earch
S
ervice
January 2008EconomicResearchReportNumber 54

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