Stefan Öberg

Did the Poor Pay More? Income-related variations in Diet and Food Quality among Urban Households in Sweden 1913-1914

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Household Consumption; Food Consumption; Dietary Change; Quality Elasticity; LONGH Cohort.

We investigate the behaviors used by households to economize on their spending on food using data from a budget survey of urban households in Sweden in 1913-1914. Higher-income households bought higher quality varieties of both luxury and staple foods. But changing the composition of the diet was a much more important way to adjust spending on food than changing the quality of the foods bought. Higher incomes allowed households to increase the variability of their diets as well as to increase the enjoyability of the staple foods that dominated diets at the time.

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