The Impact of Regime Type on Food Consumption in Low Income Countries
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Competing studies use food consumption to measure the impact of political regime on the welfare of the poor. Democracies may outperform autocracies by using growth to hide redistribution, improving caloric consumption and currying favor. Alternatively, autocracies may have greater incentives to lower food prices to quell urban unrest. We test these competing theories using a more detailed, continuous, nuanced measure of food consumption quality – cereal equivalent values. We find evidence to support the second hypothesis, that autocracies outperform democracies at low incomes. For higher incomes, democracies perform significantly better. Segregated by growth, autocracies again outperform democracies at low incomes.
Keywordsfood consumption food cost political regime cereal equivalents
JELO200 P51 Q18
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