Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Pathway from nutrition intake to wage among elementary workers in India

Kaushal, Kaushalendra Kumar (2014): Pathway from nutrition intake to wage among elementary workers in India.

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Despite the consistent effort to reduce hunger and poverty, a sizeable proportion of the population in India is living below the poverty line (22% 2011-12) and 36% women and 34% men were underweight. Malnutrition and poverty form a vicious circle of poverty which needs to be removed through government intervention. In the context, using data from national representative “employment and unemployment” (and 61st round 2004-05 and 68th round 2011-12) of the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) we have tried to establish the association between nutrition status and wage in India. In order to take into account the heterogeneous effect of the calorie intake across the income distribution and endogeneity of the calorie consumption, we have applied instrumental variable quantile regression. Regression result confirms the heterogeneous impact of per-capita calorie intake across household income distribution. Result shows that the marginal effect of per consumer unit calorie intake on wage decrease with the increase in wage. Calorie intake elasticity of wage gain increases from 0.76 at the lowest 10th quantile to the 1.11 at the highest 90th quantile of the wage distribution in 2004-05. In 2011-12 calorie-wage elasticity decreased to 0.42 and 0.79 respectively at the 10th and 90th quantile of the wage distribution. Study clearly shows the urgent need of public nutritional supplementation at the low of the wage distribution for the maximization of wage gain from the marginal public nutritional expenditure.

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