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Rural poverty in India, 1973-86

By Nanak Kakwani and Kalinidhi Subbarao


This paper examines trends in the growth of consumption and its distribution and assesses its relative impact on the poor and the ultra poor, over time and across states of India. Using the National Sample Survey data for sixteen major states of India, the paper addresses three issues: (a) how the distribution of per capita consumption changed over time across the states, and to what extent it nullified the beneficial impact of growth on poverty; (b) how the poor and ultra poor fared in the wake of changes in computation and its distribution; and (c) what the regional patterns are and to what degree they can be explained. India's poverty alleviation strategies, the potential indirect role of agriculture and manufacturing, as well as the contribution of direct poverty alleviation interventions are analyzed. In particular, the paper examines the extent to which the regional allocation of funds for direct poverty alleviation programs is sensitive to the regional distribution of the poor and the ultra poor, and whether the recent evidence on the impact of these programs is consistent with the observed patterns in poverty and inequality.Safety Nets and Transfers,Rural Poverty Reduction,Services&Transfers toPoor,Environmental Economics&Policies,Inequality

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