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Food Availability, Entitlement and the Chinese Famine of 1959-61

Listed author(s):
  • Justin Yifu Lin
  • Yang, Dennis

The food availability decline and Sen's entitlement are two leading hypotheses for the causation of famine. Previous research based on case studies has given independent support to each of the accounts. This paper analyses the Chinese famine of 1959-61 by jointly considering entitlement arrangement and declines in food availability as complementary causes. We found that in the Chinese famine of 1959-61 both the food availability decline and entitlement arrangement contributed significantly to the increase of death rates in the famine. However, the differences in the entitlement arrangement were more important than the differences in food availability for explaining the observed differences in death rates across provinces.

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Paper provided by Duke University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 95-24.

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Date of creation: 1995
Publication status: Published in ECONOMIC JOURNAL, Vol. 110, 2000, pages 136-158
Handle: RePEc:duk:dukeec:95-24
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Department of Economics Duke University 213 Social Sciences Building Box 90097 Durham, NC 27708-0097

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