IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cpr/ceprdp/15844.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

In-Kind Transfers as Insurance

Author

Listed:
  • Gadenne, Lucie
  • Norris, Sam
  • Singhal, Monica
  • Sukhtankar, Sandip

Abstract

Recent debates about the optimal form of social protection programs have highlighted the potential for cash as the preferred form of transfer to low income households. However, in-kind transfers remain prevalent throughout the world. We argue that beneficiaries themselves may prefer in-kind transfers because these transfers can provide insurance against price risk. Households in developing countries often face substantial price variation as a result of poorly integrated markets. We develop a model demonstrating that in-kind transfers are welfare improving relative to cash if the covariance between the marginal utility of income and price is positive. Using calorie shortfalls as a proxy for marginal utility, we find that in-kind transfers improve welfare relative to cash for Indian households, an effect driven entirely by poor households. We further show that expansions in the generosity of the Public Distribution System (PDS) - India's in-kind food transfer program - result not only in increased caloric intake but also reduced sensitivity of calories to prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Gadenne, Lucie & Norris, Sam & Singhal, Monica & Sukhtankar, Sandip, 2021. "In-Kind Transfers as Insurance," CEPR Discussion Papers 15844, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:15844
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=15844
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    More about this item

    Keywords

    cash transfers; in-kind transfers; India; price risk; Public Distribution System;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H42 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Private Goods
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • 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
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

    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:cpr:ceprdp:15844. 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://www.cepr.org .

    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.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://www.cepr.org .

    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.