1887

UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) Working Papers

The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) Working Papers aim to stimulate discussion and critical comment on the broad range of economic, social and environmental issues associated with the United Nations Development Agenda.

English

Programmes to Protect the Hungry

Lessons From India

Evidence on calorie intake and nutritional outcomes establishes that chronic hunger and food insecurity persist today on a mass scale in India. The liberalization-induced policy of narrow targeting of the Public Distribution System (PDS), a programme of food security that provides a minimum quantity of cereals at subsidized prices, has resulted in worsening food insecurity. Recent evidence from the 61st round of the National Sample Survey in 2004-2005 establishes that targeting has led to high rates of exclusion of needy households from the system and clear deterioration of coverage in States like Kerala where the universal PDS was most effective.

English

Keywords: public distribution, liberalization, India, targeting errors, food security
JEL: O53: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Economywide Country Studies / Economywide Country Studies: Asia including Middle East; Q18: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Agriculture / Agricultural Policy; Food Policy; I38: Health, Education, and Welfare / Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty / Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty: Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
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