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Old Age Poverty In The Indian States: What The Household Data Can Say?

Author

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  • Sarmistha Pal

    (Brunel University)

  • Robert Palacios

    (World Bank)

Abstract

In the absence of any official measures of old age poverty, this paper uses National Sample Survey household-level data to investigate the extent and nature of living standards and incidence of poverty among elderly in sixteen major states in India. We construct both individual and household-level poverty indices for the elderly and examine the sensitivity of these poverty indices to different equivalence scales and size economies in consumption. In general, these adjusted estimates indicate that households with elderly members have lower incidence of poverty in all of the states, albeit to different degrees. Part of the explanation appears to be related to differences in dependency ratios in households with and without elderly, where a significant percentage of elderly, especially men, continue to work well past the age of sixty. The favourable effect of the presence of elderly on household living standards and incidence of poverty is however weakened once we control for dependency ratio, among other things, with significant inter-state variation noted in our sample.

Suggested Citation

  • Sarmistha Pal & Robert Palacios, 2005. "Old Age Poverty In The Indian States: What The Household Data Can Say?," Labor and Demography 0505015, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:0505015 Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 30
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    File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/lab/papers/0505/0505015.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sugata Ghosh & Sarmistha Pal, 2004. "The Effect of Inequality on Growth: Theory and Evidence from the Indian States," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(1), pages 164-177, February.
    2. Dreze, Jean & Srinivasan, P. V., 1997. "Widowhood and poverty in rural India: Some inferences from household survey data," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 217-234, December.
    3. Angus Deaton & Christina Paxson, 1998. "Economies of Scale, Household Size, and the Demand for Food," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 897-930, October.
    4. Sarmistha Pal, 2004. "Do Children Act As Old Age Security In Rural India? Evidence From An Analysis Of Elderly Living Arrangements," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 107, Royal Economic Society.
    5. Hills, John, 2004. "Inequality and the State," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199276646.
    6. Sarmistha Pal, 2004. "Do Children Act As Old Age Security in Rural India? Evidence from an Analysis of Elderly Living Arrangements," Labor and Demography 0405002, EconWPA, revised 15 Oct 2004.
    7. Barrientos, Armando & Gorman, Mark & Heslop, Amanda, 2003. "Old Age Poverty in Developing Countries: Contributions and Dependence in Later Life," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 555-570, March.
    8. Angus S. Deaton & Christina Paxson, 1998. "Measuring Poverty among the Elderly," NBER Chapters,in: Inquiries in the Economics of Aging, pages 169-204 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Akanksha Srivastava & Sanjay Mohanty, 2012. "Poverty Among Elderly in India," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 109(3), pages 493-514, December.
    2. Sarmistha Pal, 2006. "Elderly Health, Wealth and Co-residence with Adult Children in Rural India," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 06-09, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
    3. Sarmistha Pal & Robert Palacios, 2011. "Understanding Poverty among the Elderly in India: Implications for Social Pension Policy," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(7), pages 1017-1037.
    4. Pal, Sarmistha, 2007. "Effects of Intergenerational Transfers on Elderly Coresidence with Adult Children: Evidence from Rural India," IZA Discussion Papers 2847, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Aishna Sharma & Bimal Sahoo & Partha Saha & Chandan Kumar & Ankita Gandhi, 2015. "India Human Development Report 2011: Towards Social Inclusion," Working Papers id:6740, eSocialSciences.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Old age poverty; Living standards; Poverty indices; Equivalence scale; Size economies in consumption; Social protection of the elderly; Inter-state disparity in India.;

    JEL classification:

    • J - Labor and Demographic Economics

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