Econometric Analysis of the Demand for Pulses in Sri Lanka: An Almost Ideal Estimation with a Censored Regression

Lokuge Dona Manori Nimanthika Lokuge, Jagath Chaminda Edirisinghe


Due to high prevalence of dietary diseases and malnutrition in Sri Lanka, it is essential to assess food consumption patterns. Because pulses are a major source of nutrients, this paper employed the Linear Approximation of the Almost Ideal Demand System (LA/AIDS) to estimate price and expenditure elasticities for six types of pulses, by utilizing the Household Income and Expenditure Survey, 2006/07. The infrequency of purchases, a typical problem encountered in LA/AIDS estimation is circumvented by using a probit regression in the first stage, to capture the effect of demographic factors, in consumption choice. Results reveal that the buying decision of pulses is influenced by the sector (rural, urban and estate), household size, education level, presence of children, prevalence of blood pressure and diabetes. All pulses types except dhal are highly responsive to their own prices. Dhal is identified as the most prominent choice among all other alternatives and hence, it is distinguished as a necessity whereas, the rest show luxurious behavior, with the income. Because dhal is an import product, consumption choices of dhal may be severely affected by any action which exporting countries introduce, while rest of the pulses will be affected by both price and income oriented policies.

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