Food Assistance and Policy Options in India

Research Theme: Development, Institutions and Demographic Change
Location: Republic of India
Funding: PSTC Seed Funding

Nagavarapu initiated an innovative project along with one of Andrew Foster’s former students on the public distribution system that allocates food rations to the Indian poor. Preliminary work provides a strong circumstantial case that the rations of individuals with low social influence are being diverted by shopkeepers to the black market. Nagavarapu is now working with an NGO that is implementing a randomized trial that incorporates an alternative source of supply for these rations. Using this experiment, he will not only be able to more clearly distinguish supply and demand reasons that poor individuals do not obtain their rations, but he will also be able to provide broader insight into the operation of local caste and political processes.