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Poverty levels and food demand of the poor in Turkey

Sengul, S., Tuncer, I.
Agribusiness 2005 v.21 no.3 pp. 289-311
low income households, poverty, food consumption, food purchasing, surveys, food security, data analysis, urban areas, rural areas, geographical variation, econometric models, household income, food prices, developing countries, Turkey (country)
This study examines poverty levels and the food demand of poor and extremely poor households in Turkey by using the Household Consumption Expenditure Survey of 1994, produced by the State Institute of Statistics. First, a least-cost food poverty line was determined. Then, some aggregate poverty measures, namely the Head-Count Ratio, the Poverty Gap Ratio, the Sen Index and the Foster, Greer and Thorbecke Index, were calculated and employed for assessment of poverty levels in Turkey as a whole and in both urban and rural areas. These indices indicate that approximately 46.8% of the households are poor, and 7.0% of the households are extremely poor in Turkey. Moreover, the extent, depth, severity, and intensity of poverty in rural areas of Turkey seem to be fairly high compared to urban areas. In order to firmly combine food poverty and actual food consumption behavior, the Linearly Approximated Almost Ideal Demand System (LA/AIDS) was estimated. The results show that food demands of extremely poor households are more responsive to income and prices than are those of poor households in Turkey.