The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd


  • C. Peter Timmer
Reference work entry


The economics of nutrition has both demand and supply aspects. Because nutrients for human growth, development and physical activity come almost entirely from food consumed, the demand side of nutrition economics is closely related to food consumption analysis. Because these nutrients interact with the body’s health status as well as demands imposed by physical and social activities to produce ‘work output’, nutrition economics also relates to the burgeoning literature on the formation and productivity of human capital. And because the process of buying foods and transforming them into a family’s daily diet involves primarily women’s time in the household, nutrition economics also relates to analysis of the productivity of women’s activities and to the ‘new household economics’ paradigm. In addition, biological and economic links have been established between nutrition and fertility. In combination with the influence of maternal and infant nutritional status on mortality rates, these links establish an important connection between nutrition economics and population studies and provide a vehicle for economists to contribute to that field.

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Peter Timmer
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