IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Inflation, Macroeconomic Policy and Hunger: A Variation on a Theme by C. Rangarajan


  • Raghbendra Jha



This paper re-emphasizes the importance of price stability as a tool for macroeconomic policy and make it more specific by considering a typically (unanticipated) advantage of stabilizing the Consumer Price Index (CPI). I briefly review the recent economic growth performance of the Indian economy and recount the sluggish response of poverty to high economic growth. Further, hunger (calorie deficiency) has actually increased during the post-reform period. Using household level National Sample Survey (NSS) data for 1993–94 and 2004–05 the paper shows that calorie intakes in both rural and urban areas are sensitive to commodity (in particular foodgrain) prices. Hence, reducing consumer price inflation is likely to yield a rich dividend by reducing hunger. Indeed rising per capita incomes are not likely to be sufficient to reduce hunger. The paper also reviews some policy challenges to stabilizing consumer prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Raghbendra Jha, 2010. "Inflation, Macroeconomic Policy and Hunger: A Variation on a Theme by C. Rangarajan," ASARC Working Papers 2010-22, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.
  • Handle: RePEc:pas:asarcc:2010-22

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Paul Niehaus & Sandip Sukhtankar, 2013. "Corruption Dynamics: The Golden Goose Effect," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 230-269, November.
    2. Fisman, Raymond & Gatti, Roberta, 2002. "Decentralization and corruption: evidence across countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 325-345, March.
    3. Benjamin A. Olken & Patrick Barron, 2009. "The Simple Economics of Extortion: Evidence from Trucking in Aceh," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(3), pages 417-452, June.
    4. Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
    5. Aymo Brunetti & Beatrice Weder, 1994. "Political credibility and economic growth in less developed countries," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 23-43, December.
    6. Andrew D. Foster & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2001. "Imperfect Commitment, Altruism, And The Family: Evidence From Transfer Behavior In Low-Income Rural Areas," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 389-407, August.
    7. Vito Tanzi, 1998. "Corruption Around the World: Causes, Consequences, Scope, and Cures," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 45(4), pages 559-594, December.
    8. Dollar, David & Fisman, Raymond & Gatti, Roberta, 2001. "Are women really the "fairer" sex? Corruption and women in government," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 423-429, December.
    9. Mookherjee, Dilip & Png, I P L, 1995. "Corruptible Law Enforcers: How Should They Be Compensated?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(428), pages 145-159, January.
    10. Rose-Ackerman, Susan, 1975. "The economics of corruption," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 187-203, February.
    11. Kimberly Ann Elliott, 1997. "Corruption and the Global Economy," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 12.
    12. Vito Tanzi, 1998. "Corruption Around the World; Causes, Consequences, Scope, and Cures," IMF Working Papers 98/63, International Monetary Fund.
    13. Toke S. Aidt, 2003. "Economic analysis of corruption: a survey," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(491), pages 632-652, November.
    14. Benjamin A. Olken, 2007. "Monitoring Corruption: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Indonesia," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 200-249.
    15. Huther, Jeff & Shah, Anwar, 2000. "Anti-corruption policies and programs : a framework for evaluation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2501, The World Bank.
    16. Paolo Mauro, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Inflation targeting; Consumer Price Index; Hunger; Development Policy; India;

    JEL classification:

    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pas:asarcc:2010-22. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Raghbendra Jha). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.