Nutrient Consumption in India: Evidence from a Village Study

Indranil Dutta, Shruti Kapoor, Pattanaik Prasanta

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Adequate nutrition is generally regarded as a core dimension in any evaluation of well-being. In the context of India, a country with a high prevalence of poor nutrition, there is a dearth of nutrition studies with adequate coverage and comparability. Using primary data on food consumption from a village in a poorer state of India, we study the consumption of five key nutrients, namely, calories, protein, carbohydrates, calcium and iron. Among the various determinants of nutrition, we find that expenditure has a significant impact on nutrition and the expenditure elasticity of nutrition is comparatively high for all the key nutrients. By correcting for potential endogeneity, we demonstrate a causal link from expenditure and food subsidy provided by the public distribution system to nutritional intake. There is some evidence that household characteristics such as household size and gender of the household head matter for nutrition; however, they are not robust under various specifications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)855-877
Number of pages23
JournalReview of Development Economics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020


  • endogeneity
  • macro nutrients
  • nutrition
  • public distribution system
  • India


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