Higher Temperatures and Household Nutrition: Evidence from India

35 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2024

See all articles by Ridhima Gupta

Ridhima Gupta

Independant

Ashokankur Datta

Department of Economics, Shiv Nadar University

Amlan Das Gupta

O. P. Jindal Global University

Date Written: April 26, 2024

Abstract

According to the IPCC's fifth assessment report, climate change will affect food security by the middle of the 21st century, with the largest numbers of food-insecure people located in South Asia. It is therefore important to understand how changes in temperature affect nutrition. In this paper, we analyse the impact of higher temperatures on food consumption in India using data from nationally representative consumption surveys. We also explore the role of social safety net programs in reducing the impact of higher temperatures on food consumption. Our findings suggest that average mean temperatures during the survey recall period of past 30 days affect the consumption of calories, protein, fat and food diversity and diet diversity in both rural India and urban India. The estimated effects are highest for perishable items. For example, a one degree increase in mean temperature over 30 days reduces protein consumption due to fruits by about 2 percent in rural and urban areas. Effect size is highest for the poorest and one order of magnitude larger than for non-poor households. This is not surprising as perishable items will spoil in hot weather unless stored in a refrigerator. In fact, we find that the estimated impacts are lower for households that own a fridge. We also find that an effective public distribution system in India mitigates the impact of hot weather on food consumption.

Keywords: Global Warming, Food Consumption, Perishable Food Items, Social Safety Nets, Climate Control Technologies

JEL Classification: Q15, Q18, Q54, Q56

Suggested Citation

Gupta, Ridhima and Datta, Ashokankur and Gupta, Amlan Das, Higher Temperatures and Household Nutrition: Evidence from India (April 26, 2024). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4808223 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4808223

Ashokankur Datta

Department of Economics, Shiv Nadar University ( email )

NH-91, Village- Chithera, Tehsil-Dadri,
Dist. Gautam Buddha Nagar, UP
Gautam Buddha Nagar, Uttar Pradesh 201314
India

Amlan Das Gupta

O. P. Jindal Global University ( email )

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