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Social Safety Nets and Nutrient Deprivation: An Analysis of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Program and the Public Distribution System in India

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  • Raghbendra Jha

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  • Sambit Bhattacharyya
  • Raghav Gaiha

Abstract

Using primary data collected during 2007-08 we examine the nutritional status with respect to the two macronutrients (calories and protein) as well as various micronutrients of rural households in three Indian states: Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. We find that, by and large, there are serious deficiencies in regard to consumption of various nutrients in all three states. With this as a background we model the impact of two policy interventions (NREG and PDS) on nutrient intake. In addition to OLS and IV estimations for each nutrient for each state, we also conduct systems estimation for each nutrient for all states. In many cases, there are significant effects of the two policy interventions on nutrient intakes. The impact effects of a change in the policy measures are also computed and found to vary across nutrients and states. Finally, in order to assess the impact on an index of undernutrition, both the nutrient-income relation and how the proportions of undernourished vary must be taken into account. As our analysis demonstrates, a preoccupation with the former could be misleading.

Suggested Citation

  • Raghbendra Jha & Sambit Bhattacharyya & Raghav Gaiha, 2010. "Social Safety Nets and Nutrient Deprivation: An Analysis of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Program and the Public Distribution System in India," ASARC Working Papers 2010-04, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.
  • Handle: RePEc:pas:asarcc:2010-04
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    1. Martin Ravallion & Gaurav Datt, 1995. "Is Targeting Through a Work Requirement Efficient? Some Evidence for Rural India," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-41, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    2. Subramanian, Shankar & Deaton, Angus, 1996. "The Demand for Food and Calories," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(1), pages 133-162, February.
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    6. Dasgupta, Partha & Ray, Debraj, 1986. "Inequality as a Determinant of Malnutrition and Unemployment: Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(384), pages 1011-1034, December.
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    8. Radhakrishna, R. & Subbarao, K., 1997. "India's Public Distribution System. A National and International Perspective," World Bank - Discussion Papers 380, World Bank.
    9. 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.
    10. Jha, Raghbendra & Gaiha, Raghav & Sharma, Anurag, 2009. "Calorie and Micronutrient Deprivation and Poverty Nutrition Traps in Rural India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 982-991, May.
    11. Behrman, Jere R & Deolalikar, Anil B, 1987. "Will Developing Country Nutrition Improve with Income? A Case Study for Rural South India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 492-507, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Raghbendra Jha & Raghav Gaiha, 2012. "India's National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme as it is - Interpreting the Official Report," ASARC Working Papers 2012-12, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.
    2. Kaicker, Nidhi & Gaiha, Raghav, 2013. "Calorie thresholds and undernutrition in India," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 271-288.
    3. Jha, Raghbendra & Gaiha, Raghav & Pandey, Manoj K., 2013. "Body Mass Index, participation, duration of work and earnings under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme: Evidence from Rajasthan," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 14-30.
    4. Sudha Narayanan & Nicolas Gerber, 2015. "Social safety nets for food and nutritional security in India," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2015-031, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    5. Merfeld, Joshua D, 2017. "Spatially Heterogeneous Effects of a Public Works Program," MPRA Paper 80630, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Songqing Jin & Yanyan Liu, 2013. "Welfare and Poverty Impacts of India’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme: Evidence from Andhra Pradesh," Working Papers id:5530, eSocialSciences.
    7. Erlend Berg & Sambit Bhattacharyya & D Rajasekhar & R Manjula, 2014. "Can Public Employment Schemes Increase Equilibrium Wages? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in India," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 14/317, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    8. Subhasish Dey & Katsushi S. Imai, 2014. "Workfare as "Collateral": The case of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) in India," Discussion Paper Series DP2014-27, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University, revised Mar 2015.
    9. Jha, Raghbendra & Gaiha, Raghav & Pandey, Manoj K., 2012. "Net transfer benefits under India's rural employment guarantee scheme," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 296-311.
    10. Deininger, Klaus & Liu, Yanyan, 2013. "Welfare and poverty impacts of India's national rural employment guarantee scheme : evidence from Andhra Pradesh," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6543, The World Bank.
    11. repec:eee:wdevel:v:103:y:2018:i:c:p:239-254 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Narayanamoorthy, A. & Bhattarai, Madhusudan, 2013. "Rural Employment Scheme and Agricultural Wage Rate Nexus: An Analysis across States," Agricultural Economics Research Review, Agricultural Economics Research Association (India), vol. 26(2013).
    13. Sudha Narayanan & Nicolas Gerber & Udayan Rathore & Karthikeya Naraparaju, 2017. "Can social safety nets protect public health? The effect of India's workfare and foodgrain subsidy programmes on anaemia," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2017-021, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    14. Sudha Narayanan & Nicolas Gerber & Udayan Rathore & Karthikeya Naraparaju, 2017. "Can Social Safety Nets Protect Public Health? The Effect of India's Workfare and Foodgrain Subsidy Programmes on Anaemia," Working Papers id:12296, eSocialSciences.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Nutrition; Social Safety Nets; NREG; PDS; India;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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