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Programmes to Protect the Hungry: Lessons from India

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  • Madhura Swaminathan

Abstract

Evidence on calorie intake and nutritional outcomes establishes that chronic hunger and food insecurity persist today on a mass scale in India. The liberalization-induced policy of narrow targeting of the Public Distribution System (PDS), a programme of food security that provides a minimum quantity of cereals at subsidized prices, has resulted in worsening food insecurity. Recent evidence from the 61st round of the National Sample Survey in 2004-2005 establishes that targeting has led to high rates of exclusion of needy households from the system and clear deterioration of coverage in States like Kerala where the universal PDS was most effective.

Suggested Citation

  • Madhura Swaminathan, 2008. "Programmes to Protect the Hungry: Lessons from India," Working Papers 70, United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs.
  • Handle: RePEc:une:wpaper:70
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    File URL: http://www.un.org/esa/desa/papers/2008/wp70_2008.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Giovanni Andrea Cornia & Frances Stewart, 1993. "Two errors of targeting," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 5(5), pages 459-496, September.
      • Giovanni Andrea Cornia & Frances Stewart, 1993. "Two Errors of Targeting," Papers iopeps93/54, Innocenti Occasional Papers, Economic Policy Series.
    2. M. H. Suryanarayana, 2001. "Economic reform versus food security: Kerala's Gordian knot," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(2), pages 239-253.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cavatorta, Elisa & Shankar, Bhavani & Flores-Martinez, Artemisa, 2015. "Explaining Cross-State Disparities in Child Nutrition in Rural India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 216-237.
    2. 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).
    3. Masiero, Silvia, 2015. "Redesigning the Indian Food Security System through E-Governance: The Case of Kerala," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 126-137.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    food security; targeting errors; India; liberalization; public distribution;

    JEL classification:

    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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