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Indian Poverty during the 1990s: Resolving Methodological Issues from the 55th NSS Round

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  • Melanie Morten

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Abstract

The fieldwork for the 61st National Sample Survey (NSS) has recently been completed and Indian poverty estimates for 2004/05 are currently being calculated. We revisit the debate over the 55th NSS round, which produced incomparable poverty estimates due to a change in the recall period used in the survey. The adjustment methods of Sundaram and Tendulkar (2003a; 2003b); Deaton (2003a and Drèze 2006); and Kijima and Lanjouw (2003) are analysed, and the underlying assumptions of each method are probed. We conclude that the use of the Employment/Unemployment surveys is not valid, reject the assumption of a stable Engel curve but cannot reject the assumption that returns to factors are constant. With the caveat that there has been no structural shift in the relationship between income and expenditure, we accept Kijima and Lanjouw's adjustment method. This implies that poverty reduction during the 1990s was considerably slower than prior to the 1991 economic reforms.

Suggested Citation

  • Melanie Morten, 2006. "Indian Poverty during the 1990s: Resolving Methodological Issues from the 55th NSS Round," ASARC Working Papers 2006-07, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.
  • Handle: RePEc:pas:asarcc:2006-07
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    File URL: https://crawford.anu.edu.au/acde/asarc/pdf/papers/2006/WP2006_07.pdf
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    1. Tarozzi, Alessandro, 2007. "Calculating Comparable Statistics From Incomparable Surveys, With an Application to Poverty in India," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 25, pages 314-336, July.
    2. (No last name available), Himanshu, 2013. "Poverty and Food Security in India," ADB Economics Working Paper Series 369, Asian Development Bank.
    3. Angus Deaton and Jean Drèze & Jean Drèze, 2002. "Poverty and Inequality in India: A Reexamination," Working papers 107, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
    4. James P. Johnson & M. Audrey Korsgaard & Harry J. Sapienza, 2002. "Abstract," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(12), pages 1141-1160, December.
    5. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2002. "Growth Is Good for the Poor," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 195-225, September.
    6. Chris Elbers & Jean O. Lanjouw & Peter Lanjouw, 2003. "Micro--Level Estimation of Poverty and Inequality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 355-364, January.
    7. Gaurav Datt & Martin Ravallion, 2002. "Is India's Economic Growth Leaving the Poor Behind?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 89-108, Summer.
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