ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Revising Estimates of Poverty

One of the criticisms of the official poverty line is that it does not capture the cost of basic necessities, particularly non-food components such as health and education. This issue gains importance due to an increase in household private expenditure on education and health services in recent years. This article estimates poverty ratios at the all India level and for the states in 2004-05 by including the minimum private expenditure on health and education. The estimated poverty ratios are substantially higher than the official poverty ratios.

Safety Net Programmes: Outreach and Effectiveness

The safety net programmes, which are designed with three main purposes, protection (ex post), insurance (ex ante) and poverty alleviation, offer help to households during a period of crisis. This article evaluates the efficiency, awareness, participation, targeting and distributive outcomes of these programmes, based on household/village-level surveys conducted in Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. In addition, the article pays special attention to the functioning of village-level institutions and social capital. Besides giving an overview of the risks and shocks faced by households in these states, the article shows that the current safety net programmes do not seriously address the health risk. , , ,

Poverty and Inequality: All-India and States, 1983-2005

With published data available from the 61st round (2004-05) of the National Sample Survey, analysis over the period 1983-2005 shows unambiguously that in spite of higher overall growth, the extent of decline in poverty in the post-reform period (1993-2005) has not been higher than in the pre-reform period (1983-1993). The second clear conclusion is that inequality has increased significantly in the post-reform period and seems to have slowed down the rate of poverty reduction. However, changes in poverty in the two sub-periods of the post-reform era, based on mixed reference period data from the NSS, suggest that the extent of decline in 1999-05 seems to have been higher than in 1993-2000, which is surprising given that the latter years witnessed slower growth in agriculture. This needs to be further investigated.

Chronic Poverty and Malnutrition in 1990s

The focus of the paper is on two interrelated but distinct issues of chronic poverty and malnutrition. It analyses the trends in extent, depth and severity of poverty and also malnutrition in rural and urban areas during the last few decades. The incidence of chronic poverty is higher than that of very poor in both rural and urban areas but the former is lower than severe malnutrition. Although the risk of malnutrition decreases with household income (standard of living index), elimination of poverty cannot ensure eradication of malnutrition. The incidence of child malnutrition is particularly high among poor households where mothers have poor nutritional levels, less education and poor access to antenatal care. The lowest incidence of child malnutrition is not in the richest but in the middle income states with progressive social policy. In the 1990s, with faster urban economic growth, urban poverty declined faster, but inter quintile urban inequality and rural-urban inequality worsened. Poverty, chronic poverty and malnutrition, together, got concentrated in a few geographical locations and among specific social groups.

Malnutrition in India

This paper analyses trends in malnutrition over the past two decades and shows that improvements in nutritional status have not kept pace with the reduction in poverty and the current level of malnutrition is unacceptably high. About half of the pre-school children are malnourished and are exposed to the risk of functional impairments. Malnutrition levels are uneven across states. Some middle income states such as Kerala and Tamil Nadu have comparatively better nutritional achievements than higher income states like Maharashtra and Gujarat. North-eastern states are comparatively better performing states and some of them have even out-performed Kerala.

Macroeconomic Scene: Performance and Policies

This paper examines the state's macroeconomic performance and policies in terms of economic growth and human development. The macroeconomic performance in the last two decades is evaluated with the focus on the 1990s. How has Andhra Pradesh performed over time? And how does the state's performance and status compare with those of the other major states and the country as a whole?

Does Inflation Hurt the Poor More

Does Inflation Hurt the Poor More? R Radhakrishna C Ravi This paper analyses class specific inflation rates for 1989-90 and 1990-91 and concludes that the 1990-91 inflation hurt the poor more since food price rise was substantial in this period. It also shows shifts in pattern of inflation rate across expenditure classes between 1989-90 and 1990-91 and establishes inverse association between inflation rate and total expenditure in the latter period.
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