Food Price Subsidies and Nutrition: Evidence from State Reforms to India's Public Distribution System

57 Pages Posted: 28 Oct 2013 Last revised: 26 Apr 2015

See all articles by Prasad Krishnamurthy

Prasad Krishnamurthy

U.C. Berkeley School of Law

Vikram Pathania

University of Sussex - Department of Economics

Sharad Tandon

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Date Written: June 9, 2014

Abstract

We investigate whether food price subsidies affect household nutrition using a dramatic expansion of the availability of subsidized rice in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh in the early 2000's. Households in Chhattisgarh increased their consumption of pulses, animal-based protein, and produce relative to households in districts bordering the state as the availability of subsidized rice expanded. This increase is driven by households eligible for rice subsidies, and we do not find evidence that ineligible households changed their diet. These results contrast with recent studies suggesting that food subsidies have little effect on nutrition.

Keywords: Public Distribution System, Nutrition, Food Subsidies, India

JEL Classification: D10, H42, H51, I12, I18, O13, Q18

Suggested Citation

Krishnamurthy, Prasad and Pathania, Vikram and Tandon, Sharad, Food Price Subsidies and Nutrition: Evidence from State Reforms to India's Public Distribution System (June 9, 2014). UC Berkeley Public Law Research Paper No. 2345675, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2345675 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2345675

Prasad Krishnamurthy (Contact Author)

U.C. Berkeley School of Law ( email )

215 Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States

HOME PAGE: https://www.law.berkeley.edu/our-faculty/faculty-profiles/prasad-krishnamurthy/

Vikram Pathania

University of Sussex - Department of Economics ( email )

Falmer, Brighton BN1 9SL
United Kingdom

Sharad Tandon

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) ( email )

1 Credit Union Place, Suite 320
Harrisburg, PA 17110
United States

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