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Is Targeting the Poor a Penalty on the Food Insecure? Poverty and Food Insecurity in India

Author

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  • M. H. Suryanarayana
  • Dimitri Silva

Abstract

This paper seeks to verify the hypothesis that the set of food insecure is larger than the set of poor in India. Any attempt to reform safety nets like a food distribution programme by targeting it only to the latter would penalize those who are non-poor but food insecure. Towards this end, the paper attempts to: exemplify the issue with reference to measures and criteria for identifying the poor and food insecure; to estimate the incidence of poverty and food insecurity at the national and state levels; and to examine how far their magnitudes tally across states. This limited exercise shows that aggregate estimates of poverty and food insecurity broadly tally at the national level and for several states. The targeted public distribution system covers the majority of the food insecure who are poor, but excludes those sections/regions whose consumption patterns have changed by choice. This calls not for any income transfer but, if at all, for nutrition education programmes to influence consumer choice.

Suggested Citation

  • M. H. Suryanarayana & Dimitri Silva, 2007. "Is Targeting the Poor a Penalty on the Food Insecure? Poverty and Food Insecurity in India," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1), pages 89-107.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jhudca:v:8:y:2007:i:1:p:89-107 DOI: 10.1080/14649880601101457
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Muthen, Bengt, 1983. "Latent variable structural equation modeling with categorical data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1-2), pages 43-65.
    2. Lars Osberg & Andrew Sharpe, 2003. "Human Well-being and Economic Well-being: What Values Are Implicit in Current Indices?," CSLS Research Reports 2003-04, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
    3. Basudeb Biswas & Frank Caliendo, 2002. "A Multivariate Analysis of the Human Development Index," Working Papers 2002-11, Utah State University, Department of Economics.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. M.H. Suryanarayana, 2008. "Inculusive growth: What is so exclusive about it?," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2008-019, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    2. Chandana Maitra & Prof. D.S Prasada Rao, 2014. "Poverty-Food Security Nexus: Evidences from a Survey of Urban Slum Dwellers in Kolkata," Discussion Papers Series 512, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    3. repec:spr:soinre:v:134:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1419-x is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Chandana Maitra & Prasada Rao, 2014. "An Empirical Investigation into Measurement and Determinants of Food Security in Slums of Kolkata," Discussion Papers Series 531, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    5. Suryanarayana M H, 2008. "Agflation and the PDS: Some Issues," Working Papers id:1747, eSocialSciences.
    6. M.H. Suryanarayana, 2008. "Inculusive growth: What is so exclusive about it?," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2008-019, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    7. M.H. Suryanarayana & Dimitri Silva, 2008. "Poverty and food insecurity in India: A Disaggregated regional profile," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2008-005, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    8. Das, Mousumi & Sharma, Ajay & Babu, Suresh Chandra, 2017. "Pathways from agriculture to nutrition in India: Implications for sustainable development goals," IFPRI discussion papers 1649, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    9. Suryanarayana M H, 2008. "Agflation and the PDS: Some Issues," Working Papers id:1747, eSocialSciences.
    10. Suryanarayana M H, 2013. "Nutritional Norms for Poverty: Issues and Implications," Working Papers id:5392, eSocialSciences.
    11. Maitra, Chandana & Rao, D.S. Prasada, 2015. "Poverty–Food Security Nexus: Evidence from a Survey of Urban Slum Dwellers in Kolkata," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 308-325.
    12. Azeem, Muhammad Masood & Mugera, Amin W. & Schilizzi, Steven, 2016. "Living on the edge: Household vulnerability to food-insecurity in the Punjab, Pakistan," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 1-13.
    13. Chandana Maitra & Sriram Shankar & D.S. Prasada Rao, 2016. "Income Poor or Calorie Poor? Who should get the Subsidy?," Discussion Papers Series 564, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    14. Renuka Mahadevan & Vincent Hoang, 2016. "Is There a Link Between Poverty and Food Security?," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, pages 179-199.
    15. Durgesh C. Pathak & Srijit Mishra, 2011. "Poverty estimates in India: Old and new methods, 2004-05," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2011-015, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    16. repec:qld:uq2004:508 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. 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.

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