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Safety Nets for Food and Nutritional Security in India

Author

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  • Sudha Narayanan Narayanan
  • Nicolas Gerber

Abstract

This paper brings together existing literature on the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNRGEA) and the Public Distribution System (PDS) in India, offering a narrative review of the evidence on impacts on food security, health and nutrition of beneficiaries. Both programs operate on a large scale and have the capacity to impact the factors leading to undernutrition. It is evident that despite the deficiencies in implementation, both the MGNREGA and the PDS are inclusive and reach the poor and the marginalized who are likely to also experience greater undernutrition and poor health. Data challenges have however prevented researchers from conducting studies that assess the ultimate impact of these two large-scale programs on health and nutrition. The evidence that exists suggests largely positive impacts indicating a clear potential to make these programs more nutrition sensitive not just by incorporating elements that would explicitly address nutritional concerns but also by directing specific attention to innovations that strengthen critical complementarities and synergies that exist between the two programs.

Suggested Citation

  • Sudha Narayanan Narayanan & Nicolas Gerber, 2016. "Safety Nets for Food and Nutritional Security in India," FOODSECURE Working papers 37, LEI Wageningen UR.
  • Handle: RePEc:fsc:fspubl:37
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    File URL: http://www3.lei.wur.nl/FoodSecurePublications/WP37_safety_net.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Powell-Jackson, Timothy & Mazumdar, Sumit & Mills, Anne, 2015. "Financial incentives in health: New evidence from India's Janani Suraksha Yojana," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 154-169.
    3. Kozicka, Marta & Kalkuhl, Matthias & Saini, Shweta & Brockhaus, Jan, 2014. "Modeling Indian Wheat and Rice Sector Policies," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 169808, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    4. Barrett, Christopher B., 2002. "Food security and food assistance programs," Handbook of Agricultural Economics,in: B. L. Gardner & G. C. Rausser (ed.), Handbook of Agricultural Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 40, pages 2103-2190 Elsevier.
    5. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1992. "Workfare versus Welfare Incentive Arguments for Work Requirements in Poverty-Alleviation Programs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 249-261, March.
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    8. repec:ucp:ecdecc:doi:10.1086/694033 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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