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Simantini Mukhopadhyay
''Consumption Shocks in Rural India during the COVID-19 Lockdown''
( 2022, Vol. 42 No.2 )
Using data from the World Bank survey on ‘COVID-19-Related Shocks in Rural India 2020', this paper finds that while more extreme and overtly visible forms of consumption shock were less common, almost 30% of rural households in India had to reduce their intake during the lockdown in 2020. This is alarming from the policy perspective since even the pre-pandemic average intake of Indians fell short of the recommended levels. Hunger, anemia and undernutrition have been problems plaguing the Indian economy even during the high-growth years. The paper finds that the poor, the migrants and the non-cultivators in rural India had significantly higher likelihoods of facing consumption shocks during the lockdown. Access to state relief offered through public programs like the MGNREGA and PDS did not have a significant association with the chance of facing consumption shocks, particularly when the state of residence was controlled for.
Keywords: COVID-19, rural India, consumption shocks, hunger, undernutrition, PDS, MGNREGA, agriculture
JEL: I3 - Welfare and Poverty: General
R2 - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics: Household Analysis: General
Manuscript Received : Jun 13 2021 Manuscript Accepted : Jun 30 2022

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