The welfare impacts of the food security on the beneficiaries can be understood from multiple dimensions. This paper, thus, examines the impact of the India's National Food Security Act (NFSA) on the welfare of the beneficiary households from a multidimensional perspective.
The study is based on a sample household survey covering three different states of India. The stratified random sampling technique was used to select the states, districts and blocks. Sample villages and households were selected purposively. A total of 1,523 households comprising 1,069 beneficiary and 454 non-beneficiary households constituted the sample. In order to find out the impact of the programme on different dimensions of welfare, the endogenous switching regression model is employed as it helps control for any absence of randomization and the unobserved heterogeneity bias. Propensity score matching is also employed to supplement the results.
The substitution effect and income effect of the food subsidy policy combined improve the overall welfare of the households presented through the subjective measures of food consumption behaviour, income transfer and educational achievements. The bargaining effect of the food subsidy programme is reflected in the enhanced social status and women's empowerment. The food security programme seems to augment the food consumption of the beneficiaries as observed from the food consumption score.
The food security policy has improved the overall welfare of the households and can play a major role in enhancing household welfare even further. The non-beneficiaries' welfare could have increased if they would have been included in the food security programme. The subjective assessment may, however, be subjected to personal biases, and there is also absence of a common reference point. Hence, the implications of the findings may be generalized with caution.
This study provides evidences of the impacts of food subsidy from a multidimensional standpoint considering both subjective and objective dimensions of household welfare.
This study was funded by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, New Delhi under the sub-project ‘Economic Impact Assessment of National Food Security Act’ (F. NO. 4-25/2013-TS-I, Dt. 07-11-2011) of 'Sustainable Food Security through Technological Interventions for Production, Processing and Logistics' at Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur.
Satapathy, J., Nayak, N.C. and Mahakud, J. (2020), "Multidimensional impact of food security on household welfare: evidences from a household survey in three Indian states", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 47 No. 7, pp. 913-932. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSE-01-2020-0023Download as .RIS
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