THE PAKISTAN DEVELOPMENT REVIEW
Consumption Patterns of Major Food Items in Pakistan: Provincial, Sectoral and Inter-temporal Differences 1979 – 1984-85
Two studies were presented at the Fourth Annual General Meeting of the Pakistan Society of Development Economists that dealt with the regional and intertemporal differences in .consumption behaviour in Pakistan. The first study by Ahmad and Ludlow (1987) presented a sophisticated analysis using the modified LES method and household-level observations, based on the 1979 Household Income and Expenditure Survey. Based on the disaggregated estimates of the demand response for the rural and urban areas of Pakistan’s four provinces the study concluded that there were significant differences in consumption patterns between rural and urban areas and across provinces for the 17 commodities studied. However, the analysis did not present any rigorous econometric testing of these differences. The second study by Malik et of. (1987) while studying the rural-urban differences and the stability of consumption behaviour for six aggregate commodity groups presented fairly rigorous tests to conclude that for the commodity groups studied, although there were statistically significant differences in consumption behaViour over time, there were no rural-urban differences in the two largest categories considered i.e. food and drinks and clothing and footwear in any of the years from 1963•64 to 1984•85 for which the aggregate Household Income and Expenditure Survey data were available in published form. This obvious difference in the results from the two studies could in fact have resulted from the aggregation of the commodities analyzed in the second study. This apparent contradiction in the results needs to be evaluated further.