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19.05.2024

Calorie decomposition by gender, caste, and religion in India: an entitlement approach

verfasst von: Biswabhusan Bhuyan, Bimal Kishore Sahoo, Damodar Suar

Erschienen in: Empirical Economics

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Abstract

This study investigates the existence of a calorie gap (CG) within gender, caste, and religion groups utilising an entitlement framework. We employed National Sample Survey data on consumer expenditure spanning from 2004–05 to 2011–12 and applied the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition technique for our analysis. The results of the Oaxaca decomposition indicate that entitlement failure plays a significant role in expanding the CG amongst gender and caste groups in both rural and urban areas, while its impact is only seen within religious groups in urban areas. The failure of exchange entitlement intensifies the CG amongst caste and religious groups in rural areas. Moreover, our quantile-specific Oaxaca decomposition findings reveal that the contributions of entitlement and exchange entitlement gaps to the overall CG fluctuate across quantiles. We propose that increased social awareness and public exposure aimed at reducing caste and religion-based discrimination, alongside programmes and policies designed to enhance the resource base of female-headed households, minority castes, and religious minorities, may aid in the reduction of the CG.

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Fußnoten
1
Caste serves as a key stratification element in Indian society, which is categorized into Scheduled Tribes (STs), Scheduled Castes (SCs), Other Backward Classes (OBCs), and Others or Majority Caste. STs, constitutionally referred to as "Adivasis", primarily reside in forest areas and are largely isolated from the mainstream economic processes. Conversely, SCs, often referred to as "Dalits", sit at the lower echelons of the social hierarchy in the caste system, often experiencing exclusion in the form of "untouchability". The Mandal Commission classified certain groups as OBCs, with a particular emphasis on economic backwardness. The "Others" category, also known as the general or majority caste, occupies the highest social order.
 
2
The formulation of the Entitlement Theory was predicated on the utilization of descriptive statistics and cogent arguments, proposing that the primary precipitant of the Bengal famine was the inequitable distribution of food resources, stemming from a deficient level of exchange entitlement (Sen 1981a). Nevertheless, this theory lacked a rigorous, quantitative regression analysis to ascertain the degrees of entitlement and exchange entitlement. In our present investigation, we endeavour to surmount these limitations by applying an innovative methodology, specifically the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition.
 
3
Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition assumes the distributional impact as a whole. However, the impact of entitlement and exchange entitlement gaps may be different for the lower CI gap than the higher CI gap. The preliminary evidence shows that the dependent variable in our study rejects the null of normality and homoscedasticity (see Table 1). Therefore, in such a situation, it is necessary to examine the impact across the different quantiles of the CI gap, which will provide better information to policymakers. Most of the previous studies have used simple Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition without examining normality of the dependent variable.
 
4
The public distribution system (PDS) functions as a governmental entity dedicated to the provision of food grains at a subsidized rate to underprivileged households. The operationalization of the PDS is a shared responsibility between the central and state governments. Tasks such as procurement, storage, transportation, and allocation of food grains fall under the jurisdiction of the central government. In contrast, the state government oversees operational duties, including intra-state distribution, identification of impoverished households, issuance of ration cards, and supervision of resource allocation. Households that have been issued ration cards by the PDS are eligible to receive subsidiary entitlements comprising calorie-dense food items such as rice, wheat, and coarse grains. Consequently, caloric intake serves as an optimal indicator for assessing food security within the context of the Indian food security policy framework.
 
5
In this study, entitlement, endowment, and explained component are used interchangeable. Similarly, exchange entitlement, coefficient, and unexplained component are used interchangeable.
 
6
The principal aim of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) was the elimination of food insecurity and hunger by the conclusion of 2015. However, having only achieved partial success, this led to the conception of the more comprehensive Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with an aim to abolish all forms of poverty and hunger by the year 2030. In this study, we analyse three large-scale sample surveys, undertaken during the MDGs era. We believe that the outcomes of our exercise will yield critical insights, potentially instrumental in the establishment of effective policy strategies, thereby facilitating the fulfilment of the targets delineated within the SDGs.
 
7
The term "balwadi" is derived from the words "Bal" (children) and "Wadi" (home or center). It refers to a "Special Nutrition Programme" implemented since 1970–71 by the Central Social Welfare Board and national non-governmental voluntary organizations, such as the Indian Council for Child Welfare, Harijan Sevak Sangh (Scheduled Castes Service Board), Bharatiya Adimjati Sevak Sangh, and Kasturba National Memorial Trust. This segment of the nutrition programme is primarily executed by non-governmental organizations. The Central Social Welfare Board, a semi-government organization specializing in social work, dispenses grants-in-aid to voluntary organizations to run the programme. Simultaneously, other national-level voluntary organizations provide assistance to various voluntary organizations while also directly managing some centers. The Special Nutrition Programme primarily benefits disadvantaged societal sections, including tribal or scheduled caste individuals, urban slum dwellers, and migrant labourers. Balwadis not only offer supplemental nutrition but also cater to the social and emotional development of the attending children. Source: http://​www.​fao.​org/​3/​x0172e/​x0172e08.​htm—Accessed on July 5, 2020, at 07.58 p.m.
 
8
The adjusted equivalence table can be obtained upon request.
 
9
The Consumer Price Index for Agriculture (CPIA) and the Consumer Price Index for Industrial Workers (CPIIW) were used for rural and urban areas, respectively. The index data were obtained from the Reserve Bank of India's annual time series publication. Prior to measuring real Monthly Per Capita Expenditure (MPCE), the index was converted to a 1960 base year.
 
10
The theory of wage-efficiency advocates that wage/income and calorie intake affects each other. As income increases, there is a possibility of an increase in calorie intake. In reverse, an increase in calorie intake leads to more physical strength to work longer duration. When labour is increasing his/her working duration, his/her wages/income increases. Therefore, the simultaneity exists between income and calorie intake, creating simultaneity bias, in turn, estimates become inconsistent. Therefore, MPCE is an endogenous variable.
 
11
In the second stage quantile regression, the instrument omitted from the specification.
 
12
We have follows control variable approach to capture endogeneity while doing the quantile decomposition.
 
13
The first stage regression results of control function are similar to the first stage result of IV regression, which reported in the appendix.
 
14
The positive sign of the endowment and coefficient gap indicates that the rise in the endowment or coefficient gap will increase the CG, vice-versa. The interpretation remains similar for all decomposition results.
 
15
We have estimated the detailed quantile decomposition results, which suggest that most of the key predictors vary over the quantiles for gender, caste, and religious groups. These results are not reported here, but they can be obtained on request.
 
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Metadaten
Titel
Calorie decomposition by gender, caste, and religion in India: an entitlement approach
verfasst von
Biswabhusan Bhuyan
Bimal Kishore Sahoo
Damodar Suar
Publikationsdatum
19.05.2024
Verlag
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Erschienen in
Empirical Economics
Print ISSN: 0377-7332
Elektronische ISSN: 1435-8921
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00181-024-02598-9

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