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The purpose of this paper is to show the relationship between food as a shared good (or public within the household) in the economic sense, and food as a shared meal in…
The purpose of this paper is to show the relationship between food as a shared good (or public within the household) in the economic sense, and food as a shared meal in the sociological sense.
Quantitative data derived from a household budget survey (HBS) in Cyprus are used to set up questions to which answers are suggested using the qualitative approach of in-depth interviews.
The main finding is that the relatively high expenditure by elderly couples on food for home consumption may be explained by frequent inter-household, intra-extended family meals in Cyprus.
The paper provides evidence that household expenditure on food may not be directly indicative of household consumption of food. Researchers interested in household consumption of food should therefore be aware of the differences between household and extended family and, where extended family continues to be significant, they should be wary of using data from HBSs to analyse food consumption. One limitation is that the results are derived from in-depth interviews with a purposive sample of nine households. It may be appropriate to replicate the study, either in Cyprus or in similar societies where extended family remains significant, at a larger scale.
The evidence that household expenditure may not be indicative of household consumption suggests that questions on social context of consumption should be included in HBSs.
This paper draws together, for the first time, economic ideas on expenditure on food derived from the quantitative research of Ernst Engel on one hand and implications of the theories of Georg Simmel on the sociology of the meal on the other. The paper shows that some issues arising from quantitative analysis of HBSs cannot be explained using data from that source; this is particularly so where consumption of food is inter-household.
This paper applies a recently developed method of ranking socioeconomic inequality in health to ranking U.S. happiness from 1994 to 2012 using the GSS data. We also compare happiness between subgroups as decomposed by gender, race, and age. We establish and test a monotone condition of happiness – a richer person is likely to be happier. Under the monotone condition, standard tools of welfare and inequality ranking can be applied straightforwardly.
We explore what health-capital theory has to offer in terms of informing and directing research into health inequality. We argue that economic theory can help in…
We explore what health-capital theory has to offer in terms of informing and directing research into health inequality. We argue that economic theory can help in identifying mechanisms through which specific socioeconomic indicators and health interact. Our reading of the literature, and our own work, leads us to conclude that non-degenerate versions of the Grossman (1972a, 1972b) model and its extensions can explain many salient stylized facts on health inequalities. Yet, further development is required in at least two directions. First, a childhood phase needs to be incorporated, in recognition of the importance of childhood endowments and investments in the determination of later-life socioeconomic and health outcomes. Second, a unified theory of joint investment in skill (or human) capital and in health capital could provide a basis for a theory of the relationship between education and health.