Poverty, Undernutrition and Vulnerability in Rural India: Public Works Versus Food Subsidy

57 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2010

See all articles by Raghbendra Jha

Raghbendra Jha

Australian National University (ANU) - Australia South Asia Research Centre (ASARC); Crawford School of Public Policy

Katsushi S. Imai

University of Manchester - School of Social Sciences

Raghav Gaiha

University of Delhi - Department of Economics; Australian National University (ANU)

Date Written: February 1, 2009

Abstract

This paper analyses the effects of access to Rural Public Works (RPW) and the Public Distribution System (PDS), a public food subsidy programme, on consumption poverty, vulnerability and undernutrition in India drawing, on the large household datasets constructed with National Sample Survey (NSS) data, 50th round in 1993-1994 and 61st round in 2004-2005. The treatment effects model and propensity score matching (PSM) model are used to take account of the sample selection bias in evaluating the effects of RPW or PDS on poverty. We found significant and negative effects of household participation in RPW and food for work programmes on poverty, undernutrition (e.g. protein) and vulnerability in 1993 and 2004. Indeed, poverty and undernutrition were significantly higher for households with access to PDS than for those without, although PDS had significant effects in terms of reducing vulnerability of households in 1993 and 2004. We also applied the pseudo panel model, which confirmed that PDS decreased vulnerability based on 80 percent of the poverty threshold. However, state-wise results of the treatment effects model show considerable diversity of policy effects among different states.

JEL Classification: C21, C23, C31, I32, I38, O15, O22

Suggested Citation

Jha, Raghbendra and Imai, Katsushi S. and Gaiha, Raghav, Poverty, Undernutrition and Vulnerability in Rural India: Public Works Versus Food Subsidy (February 1, 2009). Chronic Poverty Research Centre Working Paper No. 135. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1531729 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1531729

Raghbendra Jha (Contact Author)

Australian National University (ANU) - Australia South Asia Research Centre (ASARC) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia
+61 2 6125 2683 (Phone)
+61 2 6125 0443 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://crawford.anu.edu.au/crawford_people/content/staff/acde/rjha.php

Crawford School of Public Policy

ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
J.G. Crawford Building, #132, Lennox Crossing
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

Katsushi S. Imai

University of Manchester - School of Social Sciences ( email )

Oxford Road
Manchester, M13 9PL
United Kingdom

Raghav Gaiha

University of Delhi - Department of Economics ( email )

Delhi-110007
India

Australian National University (ANU) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601
Australia

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