Using fixed calorie norms to measure undernutrition is suspect due to familiar reasons. Recent studies have proposed an approach that relies on a calorie share of staples threshold. Our analysis with Indian household data shows that such a measure is of limited interest and potentially misleading because it confines variation in calorie share to a measure of wealth. Since even the poor substitute in response to changes in food prices, calorie and income thresholds change, and, consequently, the estimates of undernourished. Thus, both the predictive accuracy of this measure and its descriptive richness leave a lot to be desired. The policy implications of our critique are significant, as not just livelihood expansion but also food price stabilisation are likely to mitigate undernutrition.
|Title of host publication||Diets, Malnutrition, and Disease: The Indian Experience|
|Editors||Raghav Gaiha, Raghbendra Jha & Vani S Kulkarni|
|Place of Publication||New Delhi, India|
|Publisher||Oxford University Press|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|