Do Consumer Price Subsidies Really Improve Nutrition?
AbstractMany developing countries use food price subsidies or price controls to improve the nutrition of the poor. However, subsidizing goods on which households spend a high proportion of their budget can create large wealth effects. Consumers may then substitute towards foods with higher non-nutritional attributes like taste, but lower nutritional content per unit currency, weakening or perhaps even reversing the intended impact of the subsidy. We present data from a randomized program of large price subsidies for poor households in two provinces of China. We find that the nutritional impact caused by the subsidy was at best extremely small, and for some households actually negative.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government in its series Working Paper Series with number rwp08-025.
Date of creation: Apr 2008
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: 79 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
Web page: http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/research/working_papers/index.htm
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Strauss, John & Thomas, Duncan, 1995. "Human resources: Empirical modeling of household and family decisions," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 34, pages 1883-2023 Elsevier.
- Kochar, Anjini, 2005. "Can Targeted Food Programs Improve Nutrition? An Empirical Analysis of India's Public Distribution System," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(1), pages 203-35, October.
- Tarozzi, Alessandro, 2005. "The Indian Public Distribution System as provider of food security: Evidence from child nutrition in Andhra Pradesh," European Economic Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 49(5), pages 1305-1330, July.
- Robert T. Jensen & Nolan H. Miller, 2008. "Giffen Behavior and Subsistence Consumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1553-77, September.
- Shimokawa, Satoru, 2010. "Nutrient Intake of the Poor and its Implications for the Nutritional Effect of Cereal Price Subsidies: Evidence from China," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 1001-1011, July.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.