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Poverty, Undernutrition and Vulnerability in Rural India: Public Works versus Food Subsidy

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  • Raghbendra Jha

    ()

  • Katsushi S. Imai

    ()

  • Raghav Gaiha

Abstract

This paper analyses the effects of access to Rural Public Works (RPW) and Public Distribution System (PDS), a public food subsidy programme, on consumption poverty, vulnerability and undernutrition in India drawing upon the large household data sets constructed by National Sample Survey (NSS) data, 50th round in 1993-1994 and 61st round in 2004-2005. Treatment-effects model and Propensity Score Matching (PSM) model are used to take account of the sample selection bias in evaluating the effects of RPW or PDS on poverty. We have found significant and negative effects of the household participation in RPW and Food for Work Programmes on poverty, undernutrition (e.g. protein) and vulnerability in 1993 and 2004. On the contrary, poverty and undernutrition are significantly higher for the households with access to PDS than those without, whilst PDS has significant effects on reducing vulnerability of households in 1993 and 2004. We also applied the pseudo panel model which confirms that PDS decreased the vulnerability based on 80% of the poverty threshold. However, state-wise results of treatment effects model show considerable diversity of policy effects among different states.

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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 2008-08.

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Length: 50
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pas:asarcc:2008-08

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Keywords: Poverty; Undernutrition; Vulnerability; Rural Public Works (RPW); Public Distribution System (PDS); Poverty Reduction Policy; Treatment Effects Model; Propensity Score Matching (PSM) Model; India;

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  1. Dehejia, Rajeev, 2005. "Practical propensity score matching: a reply to Smith and Todd," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 355-364.
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  3. Bhalotra, Sonia, 2002. "Welfare Implications of Fiscal Reform: The Case of Food Subsidies in India," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  4. Raghbendra Jha & Raghav Gaiha, 2003. "Determinants of Undernutrition in Rural India," ASARC Working Papers 2003-01, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.
  5. Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 2003. "Does Matching Overcome Lalonde's Critique of Nonexperimental Estimators?," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20035, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
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  8. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 2002. "Propensity Score-Matching Methods For Nonexperimental Causal Studies," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 151-161, February.
  9. Dasgupta, Partha, 1997. "Nutritional status, the capacity for work, and poverty traps," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 5-37, March.
  10. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1992. "Workfare versus Welfare Incentive Arguments for Work Requirements in Poverty-Alleviation Programs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 249-61, March.
  11. Deaton, Angus, 1985. "Panel data from time series of cross-sections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 109-126.
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  14. Sascha O. Becker & Andrea Ichino, 2002. "Estimation of average treatment effects based on propensity scores," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 2(4), pages 358-377, November.
  15. Todd, Petra E., 2008. "Evaluating Social Programs with Endogenous Program Placement and Selection of the Treated," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
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Cited by:
  1. Raghbendra Jha & Woojin Kang & Hari K. Nagarajan & Kailash C. Pradhan, 2012. "Vulnerability and Responses to Risk in Rural India," ASARC Working Papers 2012-05, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.
  2. Katsushi Imai & Xiaobing Wang & Woojin Kang, 2010. "Poverty and vulnerability in rural China: effects of taxation," Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(4), pages 399-425.
  3. Maria S. Floro & Javier Bronfman, 2012. "How Well have Social Protection Schemes in Chile Reduced Household Vulnerability?," Working Papers 2012-03, American University, Department of Economics.

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