IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

On hunger and public action


  • Ravallion, Martin


This article is a commentary on a new book"Hunger and Public Action,"by authors Jean Dreze and Amartya Sen. The article compares the book's conceptual approach and policy recommendations to those of other recent writings on poverty and hunger. Researchers trying to understand the causes of a particular famine or to anticipate future famines have usually concentrated on information about aggregate food availability. A better approach is to focus on the determinants of individual entitlements - the command of people over food and other necessities. Ravallion critically assesses the book's conceptual framework, data, and the methods of analysis. He concludes that, despite some shortcomings in the book, the authors make a convincing case for a positive role for public action in famine relief and longer term relief of poverty and hunger.

Suggested Citation

  • Ravallion, Martin, 1991. "On hunger and public action," Policy Research Working Paper Series 680, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:680

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sen, Amartya, 1981. "Public Action and the Quality of Life in Developing Countries," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 43(4), pages 287-319, November.
    2. Coate, Stephen, 1989. "Cash versus direct food relief," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 199-224, April.
    3. Bhalla, Surjit S & Glewwe, Paul, 1986. "Growth and Equity in Developing Countries: A Reinterpretation of the Sri Lankan Experience," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 1(1), pages 35-63, September.
    4. Brown University faculty, 1990. "Overcoming hunger : Promising programmes and policies," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 286-298, August.
    5. Kasperson, Jeanne X. & Kates, Robert W., 1990. "Introduction: halving hunger," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 274-276, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    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:wbk:wbrwps:680. 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: (Roula I. Yazigi). 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.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with 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.