IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Policy focus: A robust normative evaluation of India's performance in allocating risks of death

  • Nicolas Gravel
  • Abhiroop Mukhopadhyay
  • Benoit Tarroux

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide a robust normative evaluation of the recent evolution of Indians' exposures to health-related risks. Design/methodology/approach – The paper compares empirically the distributions of individuals' risks of death in India on the basis of new ethically robust criteria in 1995 and 2002. Probabilities of death are assigned individuals as an estimated probit function of several explanatory variables, including the individual's district of residence. The criteria used ranks distributions of individual risks in the same way as would all Von Neumann–Morgenstern (VNM) social planners who respect, in the usual Pareto sense – individuals VNM preferences over individual risks of death. Two criteria are considered in turn. The first criterion assumes that individuals' VNM utilities are increasing in money and value more a unit of money received in the bad state than one received in the good one. The second criterion makes the extra assumption that individuals are risk averse and have VNM utility functions that are more concave in the bad state than in the good one. Findings – It is found that there is unanimity among all VNM social planners who respect individual VNM preference for considering that the distribution of risks of death in India was better in 2002 than in 1995. This is at least so if individuals can be assumed to prefer more money to less, to be risk averse, and to be more risk averse in the bad state than in the good one. Research limitations/implications – A limitation of the empirical research of the paper is that it concerns only one kind of risk. Future research would apply the tools of this paper to other kinds of risks like risks of crime or risks of unemployment. Practical implications – A practical implication of the paper is to illustrate the usefulness of robust dominance methodology to evaluate the outcome of various policies. Originality/value – The novelty of the paper is to be one of the first to apply empirically new dominance criteria th at are specifically designed to compare distributions of risks between individuals. It is certainly the first paper to apply the tool to appraise the distribution of risks of death in India.

If 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.

File URL:;jsessionid=4E91548055AEAD8119765558CEB3FC69?contentType=Article&contentId=1723365
Download Restriction: Cannot be freely downloaded

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Indian Growth and Development Review.

Volume (Year): 1 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages: 95-111

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eme:igdrpp:v:1:y:2008:i:1:p:95-111
Contact details of provider: Web page:

Order Information: Postal: Emerald Group Publishing, Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, BD16 1WA, UK
Web: Email:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eme:igdrpp:v:1:y:2008:i:1:p:95-111. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Virginia Chapman)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.