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Poverty, Undernutrition and Vulnerability in Rural India: Public Works versus Food Subsidy

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  • Raghbendra Jha
  • Katsushi S. Imai
  • Raghav Gaiha

Abstract

This paper analyses the effects of access to Rural Public Works (RPW) and Public Distribution System (PDS), a public food subsidy programme, on consumption poverty, vulnerability and undernutrition in India drawing upon the large household data sets constructed by National Sample Survey (NSS) data, 50th round in 1993-1994 and 61st round in 2004-2005. Treatment-effects model and Propensity Score Matching (PSM) model are used to take account of the sample selection bias in evaluating the effects of RPW or PDS on poverty. We have found significant and negative effects of the household participation in RPW and Food for Work Programmes on poverty, undernutrition (e.g. protein) and vulnerability in 1993 and 2004. On the contrary, poverty and undernutrition are significantly higher for the households with access to PDS than those without, whilst PDS has significant effects on reducing vulnerability of households in 1993 and 2004. We also applied the pseudo panel model which confirms that PDS decreased the vulnerability based on 80% of the poverty threshold. However, state-wise results of treatment effects model show considerable diversity of policy effects among different states.

Suggested Citation

  • Raghbendra Jha & Katsushi S. Imai & Raghav Gaiha, 2008. "Poverty, Undernutrition and Vulnerability in Rural India: Public Works versus Food Subsidy," ASARC Working Papers 2008-08, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.
  • Handle: RePEc:pas:asarcc:2008-08
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Gillespie, Stuart & Harris, Jody & Kadiyala, Suneetha, 2012. "The Agriculture-Nutrition Disconnect in India: What Do We Know?:," IFPRI discussion papers 1187, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Katsushi Imai & Xiaobing Wang & Woojin Kang, 2010. "Poverty and vulnerability in rural China: effects of taxation," Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(4), pages 399-425.
    3. Raghbendra Jha & Woojin Kang & Hari K. Nagarajan & Kailash C. Pradhan, 2012. "Vulnerability and Responses to Risk in Rural India," ASARC Working Papers 2012-05, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.
    4. Keshab Raj BHATTARAI, 2010. "Trade and Poverty in South Asia," EcoMod2010 259600027, EcoMod.
    5. Katsushi S. Imai, 2011. "Poverty, undernutrition and vulnerability in rural India: role of rural public works and food for work programmes," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(6), pages 669-691, November.
    6. Maria S. Floro & Javier Bronfman, 2012. "How Well have Social Protection Schemes in Chile Reduced Household Vulnerability?," Working Papers 2012-03, American University, Department of Economics.
    7. Bronfman, Javier & Floro, Maria, 2014. "How well has the Social Protection Scheme Reduced Vulnerability in Chile?," MPRA Paper 63255, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Poverty; Undernutrition; Vulnerability; Rural Public Works (RPW); Public Distribution System (PDS); Poverty Reduction Policy; Treatment Effects Model; Propensity Score Matching (PSM) Model; India;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O22 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Project Analysis

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