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Vulnerability of Consumption Growth in Rural India

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  • Raghbendra Jha

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Abstract

The fragility of livelihoods and hence the vulnerability of consumption growth due to aggregate shocks in the Indian rural sector have been highlighted recently. However, as yet there exist no estimates of the vulnerability of consumption growth in rural India. This paper attempts to fill this lacuna by providing certainty equivalent growth of consumption in 14 major states of India over the period 1958-1997, corresponding to NSS Rounds 13th to 53rd. The extant debates around poverty-growth elasticities are premised on the assumption of a state of world without any risks and uncertainties. In the real world in which the poor actually live they are subject to risks - both general and idiosyncratic - which affect their welfare. Thus poverty should not be viewed in static terms but within a framework that allows for changing states of the world. This paper shows that certainty equivalent consumption growth in rural India has been much lower than average real per capita consumption growth - indeed, in some cases, it has been negative. This points to the poor performance of consumer-perceived average welfare in India's rural sector and should be a matter of urgent policy concern.

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File URL: https://crawford.anu.edu.au/acde/asarc/pdf/papers/2006/WP2006_04.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre in its series ASARC Working Papers with number 2006-04.

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Length: 18
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pas:asarcc:2006-04

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Keywords: India; Consumption Volatility; National Sample Survey; Certainty Equivalent Consumption;

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  1. Katsushi Imai & Raghav Gaiha, 2002. "Vulnerability, Shocks and Persistence of Poverty - Estimates for Semi-Arid Rural South India," Economics Series Working Papers 128, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 2002. "Is India's economic growth leaving the poor behind?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2846, The World Bank.
  3. Hoddinott, John & Quisumbing, Agnes, 2003. "Methods for microeconometric risk and vulnerability assessments," Social Protection Discussion Papers 29138, The World Bank.
  4. Ligon, Ethan & Schechter, Laura, 2002. "Measuring Vulnerability," 2002 Annual meeting, July 28-31, Long Beach, CA 19899, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  5. Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1996. "Macroeconomic crises and poverty monitoring : a case study for India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1685, The World Bank.
  6. Auffret, Philippe, 2003. "High consumption volatility : the impact of natural disasters?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2962, The World Bank.
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