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Social Safety Nets and Nutrient Deprivation: An Analysis of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Program and the Public Distribution System in India

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  • Raghbendra Jha

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  • Sambit Bhattacharyya
  • Raghav Gaiha

Abstract

Using primary data collected during 2007-08 we examine the nutritional status with respect to the two macronutrients (calories and protein) as well as various micronutrients of rural households in three Indian states: Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. We find that, by and large, there are serious deficiencies in regard to consumption of various nutrients in all three states. With this as a background we model the impact of two policy interventions (NREG and PDS) on nutrient intake. In addition to OLS and IV estimations for each nutrient for each state, we also conduct systems estimation for each nutrient for all states. In many cases, there are significant effects of the two policy interventions on nutrient intakes. The impact effects of a change in the policy measures are also computed and found to vary across nutrients and states. Finally, in order to assess the impact on an index of undernutrition, both the nutrient-income relation and how the proportions of undernourished vary must be taken into account. As our analysis demonstrates, a preoccupation with the former could be misleading.

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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 2010-04.

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Length: 33
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pas:asarcc:2010-04

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Keywords: Nutrition; Social Safety Nets; NREG; PDS; India;

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  1. Subramanian, Shankar & Deaton, Angus, 1996. "The Demand for Food and Calories," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(1), pages 133-62, February.
  2. Srinivasan, T. N., 1981. "Malnutrition : Some measurement and policy issues," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 3-19, February.
  3. Dasgupta, Partha & Ray, Debraj, 1986. "Inequality as a Determinant of Malnutrition and Unemployment: Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(384), pages 1011-34, December.
  4. Bliss, Christopher & Stern, Nicholas, 1978. "Productivity, wages and nutrition : Part II: Some observations," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 363-398, December.
  5. Behrman, Jere R & Deolalikar, Anil B, 1987. "Will Developing Country Nutrition Improve with Income? A Case Study for Rural South India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 492-507, June.
  6. Martin Ravallion & Gaurav Datt, 1995. "Is Targeting Through a Work Requirement Efficient? Some Evidence for Rural India," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-41, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  7. Dasgupta, Partha & Ray, Debraj, 1987. "Inequality as a Determinant of Malnutrition and Unemployment: Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(385), pages 177-88, March.
  8. Radhakrishna, R. & Subbarao, K., 1997. "India's Public Distribution System. A National and International Perspective," World Bank - Discussion Papers, World Bank 380, World Bank.
  9. Bliss, Christopher & Stern, Nicholas, 1978. "Productivity, wages and nutrition : Part I: the theory," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 331-362, December.
  10. Jha, Raghbendra & Gaiha, Raghav & Sharma, Anurag, 2009. "Calorie and Micronutrient Deprivation and Poverty Nutrition Traps in Rural India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 982-991, May.
  11. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Kaicker, Nidhi & Gaiha, Raghav, 2013. "Calorie thresholds and undernutrition in India," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 271-288.
  2. Jha, Raghbendra & Gaiha, Raghav & Pandey, Manoj K., 2012. "Net transfer benefits under India's rural employment guarantee scheme," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 296-311.
  3. Narayanamoorthy, A. & Bhattarai, Madhusudan, 2013. "Rural Employment Scheme and Agricultural Wage Rate Nexus: An Analysis across States," Agricultural Economics Research Review, Agricultural Economics Research Association (India), Agricultural Economics Research Association (India), vol. 26(2013).
  4. Jha, Raghbendra & Gaiha, Raghav & Pandey, Manoj K., 2013. "Body Mass Index, participation, duration of work and earnings under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme: Evidence from Rajasthan," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 14-30.
  5. Subhasish Dey & Katsushi S. Imai, 2014. "Workfare as "Collateral": The Case of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) in India," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series, Economics, The University of Manchester 1412, Economics, The University of Manchester.
  6. Klaus Deininger & Yanyan Liu, 2013. "Welfare and Poverty Impacts of India’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme: Evidence from Andhra Pradesh," Working Papers id:5530, eSocialSciences.
  7. Raghbendra Jha & Raghav Gaiha, 2012. "India's National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme as it is - Interpreting the Official Report," ASARC Working Papers, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre 2012-12, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.
  8. Deininger, Klaus & Liu, Yanyan, 2013. "Welfare and poverty impacts of India's national rural employment guarantee scheme : evidence from Andhra Pradesh," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6543, The World Bank.

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