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Poverty Nutrition Trap in Rural India

Author

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  • Raghbendra Jha

    ()

  • Raghav Gaiha
  • Anurag Sharma

    ()

Abstract

The contribution of the present paper is threefold. First, we formally test whether the effect of calorie deprivation on wages is more significant/higher for the lower quantiles of workers. In the extant literature this is established through non-linear terms in the wage equation. A more satisfactory method of doing this is through quantile regressions. Second, the quantile regression approach helps us identify the exact group for which the poverty-nutrition trap holds. The extant literature is unable to establish whether there are systematic differences across different quintiles in the response of productivity/wages to nutrition. The present paper addresses this lacuna. Third, we are able to establish a critical wage level for which the PNT trap hypothesis holds. For wages higher than this the hypothesis does not hold. We then argue that this value of the wage rate should set a floor for any minimum wage for agricultural labourers.

Suggested Citation

  • Raghbendra Jha & Raghav Gaiha & Anurag Sharma, 2005. "Poverty Nutrition Trap in Rural India," Departmental Working Papers 2005-02, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pas:papers:2005-02
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    File URL: https://crawford.anu.edu.au/acde/publications/publish/papers/wp2005/wp-econ-2005-02.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John Strauss & Duncan Thomas, 1998. "Health, Nutrition, and Economic Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 766-817, June.
    2. T. N. Srinivasan, 1994. "Destitution: A Discourse," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1842-1855, December.
    3. Thomas, Duncan & Strauss, John, 1997. "Health and wages: Evidence on men and women in urban Brazil," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 159-185, March.
    4. 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.
    5. Dasgupta, Partha & Ray, Debraj, 1987. "Inequality as a Determinant of Malnutrition and Unemployment: Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(385), pages 177-188, March.
    6. Bliss, Christopher & Stern, Nicholas, 1978. "Productivity, wages and nutrition : Part I: the theory," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 331-362, December.
    7. Bliss, Christopher & Stern, Nicholas, 1978. "Productivity, wages and nutrition : Part II: Some observations," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 363-398, December.
    8. Strauss, John, 1986. "Does Better Nutrition Raise Farm Productivity?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(2), pages 297-320, April.
    9. 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.
    10. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "The Efficiency Wage Hypothesis, Surplus Labour, and the Distribution of Income in L.D.C.s," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(2), pages 185-207, July.
    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 & Anurag Sharma, 2006. "On Modelling Variety in Consumption Expenditure on Food," ASARC Working Papers 2006-09, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    nutrition; calories; wages; poverty trap; labourers;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts

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