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Food Price Subsidies and Nutrition: Evidence from State Reforms to India’s Public Distribution System

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  • Prasad Krishnamurthy
  • Vikram Pathania
  • Sharad Tandon

Abstract

We investigate whether food price subsidies affect household nutrition using a dramatic expansion of the availability of subsidized rice in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh in the early 2000s. Households in Chhattisgarh improved their nutritional intake relative to households in districts bordering the state as the availability of subsidized rice expanded. This increase is driven by households most likely to be eligible for rice subsidies, and we do not find evidence that households least likely to be eligible changed their diet. These results differ from recent studies suggesting that food subsidies may have little effect on nutrition.

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  • Prasad Krishnamurthy & Vikram Pathania & Sharad Tandon, 2017. "Food Price Subsidies and Nutrition: Evidence from State Reforms to India’s Public Distribution System," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66(1), pages 55-90.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:doi:10.1086/694033
    DOI: 10.1086/694033
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    Cited by:

    1. Tandon, Sharad, 2015. "How much do Experiential Measures of Food Security Tell us About Nutrition?," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 204911, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    2. Priyam Sengupta & Kakali Mukhopadhyay, 2016. "Economic and Environmental Impact of National Food Security Act of India," Agricultural and Food Economics, Springer;Italian Society of Agricultural Economics (SIDEA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-23, December.
    3. Sudha Narayanan & Nicolas Gerber, 2015. "Social safety nets for food and nutritional security in India," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2015-031, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    4. Andaleeb Rahman, 2015. "Universal Food Security Program and Nutritional Intake: Evidence from the Hunger Prone KBK Districts in Odisha," Working Papers id:6925, eSocialSciences.
    5. Phadera,Lokendra & Sharma,Dhiraj & Wai-Poi,Matthew Grant, 2020. "Iraq's Universal Public Distribution System : Utilization and Impacts During Displacement," Policy Research Working Paper Series 9155, The World Bank.
    6. Priyam Sengupta & Kakali Mukhopadhyay, 2016. "Economic and Environmental Impact of National Food Security Act of India," Agricultural and Food Economics, Springer;Italian Society of Agricultural Economics (SIDEA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-23, December.
    7. Rahman, Andaleeb, 2016. "Universal food security program and nutritional intake: Evidence from the hunger prone KBK districts in Odisha," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 73-86.
    8. Sudha Narayanan & Nicolas Gerber & Udayan Rathore & Karthikeya Naraparaju, 2017. "Can Social Safety Nets Protect Public Health? The Effect of India's Workfare and Foodgrain Subsidy Programmes on Anaemia," Working Papers id:12296, eSocialSciences.
    9. Nicholas Li, 2021. "In-kind transfers, marketization costs and household specialization: Evidence from Indian farmers," Working Papers tecipa-700, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    10. Sudha Narayanan & Karthikeya Naraparaju & Nicolas Gerber, 2019. "Synergies in social protection : Impacts of India's MGNREGA and public distribution system on the health and nutrition of women and children," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2019-041, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    11. Umanath Malaiarasan & R. Paramasivam & K. Thomas Felix, 2021. "Does Food Price Subsidy Affect Dietary Diversity? Evidence from South India," Margin: The Journal of Applied Economic Research, National Council of Applied Economic Research, vol. 15(2), pages 268-290, May.
    12. Andaleeb Rahman, 2015. "Universal food security program and nutritional intake: Evidence from the hunger prone KBK districts in Odisha," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2015-015, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    13. Sudha Narayanan Narayanan & Nicolas Gerber, 2016. "Safety Nets for Food and Nutritional Security in India," FOODSECURE Working papers 37, LEI Wageningen UR.
    14. Chhotray, Vasudha & Adhikari, Anindita & Bahuguna, Vidushi, 2020. "The political prioritization of welfare in India: Comparing the public distribution system in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 128(C).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O21 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Planning Models; Planning Policy
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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