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A Chayanovian approach to vulnerability: Re-evaluation of Vulnerability using Indian Data

Sengupta, Atanu and Seth, Ujjwal (2021): A Chayanovian approach to vulnerability: Re-evaluation of Vulnerability using Indian Data.

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Abstract

Vulnerability is regarded as the ability of withstand income shocks. This is true of the functioning –entitlement approach, the social constructivist approach, or the qualitative approach (Addison, Hulme and Kanbur 2009). In the standard economic theory, a somewhat distinction is made between production and income. While the battery of production analysis uses terms such as efficiency, technological diffusion, and scale economies and so on, the earning side are related to poverty, inequality, subsistence and host of such issues. In the present paper, we used the approach pursued by A. V. Chayanov. In the approach of Chayanov (1966, 1989), for the life of poor, production and earnings are so strongly correlated that it would be impossible to dichotomise them. In fact, it would be wrong and probably unjust to do so. Keeping this idea in view, we have constructed the vulnerability indices for Indian states based on production data. Our data reveals that the vulnerability in India is more widespread than is commonly thought. We have also examined various factors that are responsible for this scenario. In short, our exercise puts forth a completely different picture of vulnerability in India than is commonly thought.

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