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Estimating Consumption Deprivation in India Using Survey Data: A State-Level Rural-Urban Analysis Before and During Reform Period

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  • T. Krishna Kumar
  • Sushanta Mallick
  • Jayarama Holla

Abstract

This paper assesses deprivation in India employing a measure proposed by Sitaramam and using consumption data at the household level. As cereals constitute a staple food and form a major portion of expenditure on food, the deprivation measure considered here is deprivation in cereal consumption. The total expenditure at which the Engel curve for cereals turns from concave to convex is taken as the cut-off to determine the deprived households. It is shown that cereal deprivation at the all-India level exhibits a declining trend over the period 1987-1988 and 1999-2000 in the rural sector, while there is little change in the urban sector. Further, this decline in cereal deprivation seems to have been slowing down during the reform period. The estimates of deprivation are poorly correlated with the Head Count Index (HCI) and Poverty Gap Index (PGI) at state level, both in rural and urban sectors. They, however, have better temporal correlations with those poverty measures. We offer some explanation for these observed differences in alternate deprivation indices. The trends in cereal deprivation are accompanied in some cases by a decline, in real terms, in maximum cereal consumption of each group of consumers. Whether this is an improvement or otherwise of the living standards of the poor, must await further analysis of per capita food consumption in general, with an analysis of prices and quantities of various food items. It is hoped that this kind of study on deprivation of essential commodities may increase our understanding of poverty, and even suggest direct intervention strategies.

Suggested Citation

  • T. Krishna Kumar & Sushanta Mallick & Jayarama Holla, 2009. "Estimating Consumption Deprivation in India Using Survey Data: A State-Level Rural-Urban Analysis Before and During Reform Period," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(4), pages 441-470.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:45:y:2009:i:4:p:441-470
    DOI: 10.1080/00220380802265207
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    2. Mousumi Das, 2014. "Measures, spatial profile and determinants of dietary diversity: Evidence from India," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2014-045, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    3. Arouri, Mohamed & Ben Youssef, Adel & Nguyen, Cuong, 2017. "Does urbanization reduce rural poverty? Evidence from Vietnam," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 253-270.
    4. Ansgar Belke & Andreas Wernet, 2015. "Poverty Reduction through Growth and Redistribution Policies—a Panel Analysis for 59 Developing Countries," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(1), pages 143-162, February.
    5. Gupta, Prashant & Mallick, Sushanta & Mishra, Tapas, 2018. "Does social identity matter in individual alienation? Household-level evidence in post-reform India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 154-172.
    6. Rama Pal, 2012. "Measuring incidence of catastrophic out-of-pocket health expenditure: with application to India," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 63-85, March.
    7. sitaramam, vetury & Vetury-Iyer, Pallavi, 2017. "The place of education/learning in the hierarchy of Engels’ curves of consumption: the quantitative basis of mechanisms finally elucidated," SocArXiv vwz2t, Center for Open Science.
    8. M.H. Suryanarayana, 2011. "Policies for the Poor: Verifying the Information Base," Journal of Quantitative Economics, The Indian Econometric Society, vol. 9(1), pages 73-88.
    9. Rama Pal, 2010. "Analysing Catastrophic OOP Health Expenditure in India : Concepts, Determinants and Policy Implications," Microeconomics Working Papers 22775, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.

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