Food Availability, Entitlements and the Chinese Famine of 1959-61

Posted: 25 Jul 2000

See all articles by Dennis Tao Yang

Dennis Tao Yang

Chinese University of Hong Kong - Department of Economics

Justin Y. Lin

Peking University - China Center for Economic Research

Abstract

Food availability decline and Sen's entitlement are two leading approaches in understanding causes of famine. Previous research based on case studies has given independent support to each approach. This paper analyses the Chinese famine of 1959-61 by considering jointly the urban bias and the decline in food availability as causes. We find that both factors contributed significantly to the increase in death rates during this famine. To our knowledge, this paper is the first econometric study to assess the importance of famine causes using the entitlement approach.

JEL Classification: O13

Suggested Citation

Yang, Dennis Tao and Lin, Justin Yifu, Food Availability, Entitlements and the Chinese Famine of 1959-61. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=233424

Dennis Tao Yang (Contact Author)

Chinese University of Hong Kong - Department of Economics ( email )

Shatin N.T.
Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Justin Yifu Lin

Peking University - China Center for Economic Research ( email )

No. 38 Xueyuan Road
Haidian District
Beijing, Beijing 100871
China

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