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Famines and Economics

  • Martin Ravallion

Famines have happened with and without crop failures or wars. But they invariably entail a collapse in the command over food of vulnerable subgroups within a society, whether through loss of endowment or a contraction in the amount of food that can be acquired from given endowments. Thus economic analysis can help understand famines, viewed as tragic aperiodic magnifications of normal market and governmental failures. Recent literature in economics and other fields has reflected this change in the conceptualization of famines, and it has come with policy implications for famine relieve and prevention.

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Literature.

Volume (Year): 35 (1997)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 1205-1242

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:35:y:1997:i:3:p:1205-1242
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  1. Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1996. "Why have some Indian states done better than others at reducing rural poverty?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1594, The World Bank.
  2. Bidani, Benu & Ravallion, Martin, 1997. "Decomposing social indicators using distributional data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 125-139, March.
  3. Alderman, Harold, 1996. "Saving and economic shocks in rural Pakistan," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 343-365, December.
  4. 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.
  5. Glomm, Gerhard & Palumbo, Michael G., 1993. "Optimal intertemporal consumption decisions under the threat of starvation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 271-291, December.
  6. Binswanger, Hans P. & Khandker, Shahidur R & Rosenzweig, Mark R., 1989. "How infrastructure and financial institutions affect agricultural output and investment in India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 163, The World Bank.
  7. Stephen Coate, 1987. "Cash Versus Direct Food Relief," Discussion Papers 724R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  8. Justin Yifu Lin & Yang, Dennis, 1995. "Food Availability, Entitlement and the Chinese Famine of 1959-61," Working Papers 95-24, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  9. Foster, Andrew D, 1995. "Prices, Credit Markets and Child Growth in Low-Income Rural Areas," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(430), pages 551-70, May.
  10. Webb, Patrick & von Braun, Joachim & Yohannes, Yisehac, 1992. "Famine in Ethiopia: policy implications of coping failure at national and household levels," Research reports 92, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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