A Model of Nutrition and Economic Productivity

Peter Svedberg

in Poverty and Undernutrition

Published in print October 2000 | ISBN: 9780198292685
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596957 | DOI:

Series: WIDER Studies in Development Economics

 A Model of Nutrition and Economic Productivity

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Within the nutritionist profession, the focus is on the inter‐linkages between body weight, basal metabolism, physical activity and nutrition (calorie) requirement. Economists are primarily interested in the two‐way linkage between income and food (calories) consumption, i.e. the demand for food as a function of income, and also food as a determinant of individuals’ labour productivity, and hence income earned. In this chapter, a nutrition‐cum‐efficiency wage model is set up, which incorporates all these relationships as separate functions. In the model, body weight, optimal work intensity, calorie intake, and income are derived endogenously, while the wage rate and body characteristics (stature of adults) are treated as exogenous parameters. Comparative static experiments are carried out.

Keywords: basal metabolism; body weight; calorie intake; calorie requirement; efficiency wage; food consumption; labour productivity; physical activity

Chapter.  6943 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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