IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ags/ubzefd/264342.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Can social safety nets protect public health? The effect of India’s workfare and foodgrain subsidy programmes on anaemia

Author

Listed:
  • Narayanan, Sudha
  • Gerger, Nicolas
  • Rathore, Udayan
  • Naraparaju, Karthikeya

Abstract

Can large-scale social safety nets be nutrition sensitive even if they do not explicitly incorporate health and nutrition as programmatic goals? This paper focuses on the consequences of a countrywide guaranteed workfare programme (MGNREGA) and subsidised food distribution scheme (PDS) in India for the prevalence of anaemia, examining whether individuals in districts with a broader reach of these mega-programmes are less likely to be anaemic. Using an Instrumental Variable (IV) approach to address the endogeneity of programme scale, we find that an individual residing in a district where the programmes have broader reach is less likely to suffer from all forms of anaemia and has a lower haemoglobin deficit from the benchmark suggested by the World Health Organisation (WHO) – ranging between 0.91 to 6.2 percentage points for a 10 percentage point expansion in programme scale. While the PDS seems to be more effective in reducing the incidence of mild anaemia than moderate or severe anaemia, while the strength of effects for MGNREGA seem to be the least for mild. These are catch-all effects that represent partial and general equilibrium impacts through multiple pathways. Programme interaction effects suggest the MGNREGA and PDS may be substitutes – associated improvements in anaemia for regions with higher PDS access (MGNREGA participation) are more pronounced when the scale of MGNREGA participation (PDS access) is low. There exist nonlinearities in these relationships, with the efficacy of both programmes varying across scales of implementation.

Suggested Citation

  • Narayanan, Sudha & Gerger, Nicolas & Rathore, Udayan & Naraparaju, Karthikeya, 2017. "Can social safety nets protect public health? The effect of India’s workfare and foodgrain subsidy programmes on anaemia," Discussion Papers 264342, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:ubzefd:264342
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.264342
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/264342/files/DP%20245.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/264342/files/DP%20245.pdf?subformat=pdfa
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.22004/ag.econ.264342?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Levin, Henry M, 1986. "A Benefit-Cost Analysis of Nutritional Programs for Anemia Reduction," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 1(2), pages 219-245, July.
    2. Lagrange, Arthur Alik & Ravallion, Martin, 2012. "Evaluating workfare when the work is unpleasant : evidence for India's national rural employment guarantee scheme," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6272, The World Bank.
    3. Jha, Raghbendra & Bhattacharyya, Sambit & Gaiha, Raghav, 2011. "Social safety nets and nutrient deprivation: An analysis of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Program and the Public Distribution System in India," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 189-201, April.
    4. Desai, Sonalde & Vanneman, Reeve, 2015. "Enhancing Nutrition Security via India's National Food Security Act: Using an Axe Instead of a Scalpel?," India Policy Forum, National Council of Applied Economic Research, vol. 11(1), pages 67-118.
    5. Lee, Sokbae, 2007. "Endogeneity in quantile regression models: A control function approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 141(2), pages 1131-1158, December.
    6. J. V. Meenakshi, 2016. "Trends and patterns in the triple burden of malnutrition in India," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 47(S1), pages 115-134, November.
    7. 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.
    8. Reetika Khera, 2011. "India's Public Distribution System: Utilisation and Impact," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(7), pages 1038-1060.
    9. Clément Imbert & John Papp, 2015. "Labor Market Effects of Social Programs: Evidence from India's Employment Guarantee," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 233-263, April.
    10. Horton, S. & Ross, J., 2003. "The economics of iron deficiency," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 51-75, February.
    11. Chakrabarti, Suman & Kishore, Avinash & Roy, Devesh, 2016. "Entitlement fetching or snatching? Effects of arbitrage on India’s public distribution system," IFPRI discussion papers 1588, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    12. Reetika Khera, 2011. "Trends In Diversion Of Pds Grain," Working papers 198, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
    13. Dutta, Puja & Murgai, Rinku & Ravallion., Martin & van de Walle, Dominique, 2012. "Does India's employment guarantee scheme guarantee employment ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6003, The World Bank.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. 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.
    2. Sudha Narayanan Narayanan & Nicolas Gerber, 2016. "Safety Nets for Food and Nutritional Security in India," FOODSECURE Working papers 37, LEI Wageningen UR.
    3. Anjani Kumar & Shinoj Parappurathu & Suresh C. Babu & P. K. Joshi, 2017. "Can better governance improve food security? An assessment of the public food distribution system in Odisha, India," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 9(6), pages 1433-1445, December.
    4. Berg, Erlend & Bhattacharyya, Sambit & Rajasekhar, D. & Manjula, R., 2018. "Can public works increase equilibrium wages? Evidence from India’s National Rural Employment Guarantee," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 239-254.
    5. Misra, Kartik, 2019. "Does historical land inequality attenuate the positive impact of India’s employment guarantee program?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 1-1.
    6. Aurino, Elisabetta & Morrow, Virginia, 2018. "“Food prices were high, and the dal became watery”. Mixed-method evidence on household food insecurity and children’s diets in India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 211-224.
    7. Deininger, Klaus & Liu, Yanyan, 2019. "Heterogeneous welfare impacts of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme: Evidence from Andhra Pradesh, India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 98-111.
    8. Suman Chakrabarti & Avinash Kishore & Devesh Roy, 2018. "Effectiveness of Food Subsidies in Raising Healthy Food Consumption: Public Distribution of Pulses in India," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 100(5), pages 1427-1449.
    9. Shinoj Parappurathu & Anjani Kumar & M. Bantilan & P. Joshi, 2015. "Food consumption patterns and dietary diversity in eastern India: evidence from village level studies (VLS)," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 7(5), pages 1031-1042, October.
    10. Bahal, Girish & Shrivastava, Anand, 2021. "Supply variabilities in public workfares," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 150(C).
    11. Ravallion, Martin, 2019. "Guaranteed employment or guaranteed income?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 209-221.
    12. Mihir Shah, 2016. "Should India do away with the MGNREGA?," The Indian Journal of Labour Economics, Springer;The Indian Society of Labour Economics (ISLE), vol. 59(1), pages 125-153, March.
    13. Deepak Varshney & Deepti Goel & J. V. Meenakshi, 2018. "The Impact of MGNREGA on Agricultural Outcomes and the Rural Labour Market: A Matched DID Approach," The Indian Journal of Labour Economics, Springer;The Indian Society of Labour Economics (ISLE), vol. 61(4), pages 589-621, December.
    14. Kartik Misra, 2019. "No Employment without Participation : An Evaluation of India's Employment Program in Eastern Uttar Pradesh," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2019-13, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
    15. Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo & Clément Imbert & Santhosh Mathew & Rohini Pande, 2020. "E-governance, Accountability, and Leakage in Public Programs: Experimental Evidence from a Financial Management Reform in India," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 39-72, October.
    16. Mukesh & Neha Srivastava, 2017. "Impact of Socio-Economic factors on Consumption Expenditure through Public Distribution System in rural India," Journal of Quantitative Economics, Springer;The Indian Econometric Society (TIES), vol. 15(2), pages 291-305, June.
    17. Andaleeb Rahman, 2014. "Revival of rural PDS: Expansion and outreach," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2014-012, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    18. Merfeld, Joshua D., 2019. "Spatially heterogeneous effects of a public works program," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 151-167.
    19. Imbert, Clément & Papp, John, 2020. "Costs and benefits of rural-urban migration: Evidence from India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(C).
    20. Wusheng Yu & Jayatilleke Bandara, 2017. "India's Grain Security Policy in the Era of High Food Prices: A Computable General Equilibrium Analysis," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(8), pages 1547-1568, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Health Economics and Policy;

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J08 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics Policies
    • J48 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Particular Labor Markets; Public Policy
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:ubzefd:264342. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/zefbnde.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: AgEcon Search (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/zefbnde.html .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.