Poverty in India - Wikipedia
Previous studies of the time trend of rural poverty in India agree in assuming that relationship between poverty and average agricultural output lends support. Population, pollution and poverty—or the 3 Ps, as I would like to call them—are in the Western countries than it did in developing countries like China and India. relationship between environmental pollution and poverty. Examples are the compulsory sterilisation practiced in India during the s relationship between population, economic growth and the environment. These.
Here there is anything but consensus, although, as I will argue in this paper, there appears to be a slowly growing convergence of views in favour of an affirmative answer to this question. This paper, in other words, addresses the question of whether reduced fertility, and more particularly public policies designed to reduce fertility, can lead to higher incomes and improved living standards. A good deal of research, of course, has been conducted on this question. The paper attempts to summarize the present state of such research and the conclusions that emerge from it today.
My purpose is to try to identify what policymakers can conclude from the present state of research and then to speculate on what might be accomplished between now and if policymakers were to pursue what I take to be the course of action suggested by the research findings.
- Population and Poverty: New Views on an Old Controversy
- How population and poverty are linked
- Population, poverty and economic development
What do we know—macro? Through the nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth century, intellectuals were roughly divided between the followers of Malthus and the followers of Marx. Crudely stated, Malthusians believed that high rates of population growth condemned societies to more or less permanent states of underdevelopment and that only by breaking the iron linkage of high fertility to poverty could real improvements in standards of living be achieved.
Marx, on the other hand, argued that high fertility was a symptom, not a cause, of poverty and said that only by bringing about a radical transformation in the underlying causes of poverty would living standards rise and birth rates begin to fall. In the modern era, which is to say since World War II, there have been three broad stages of economic thinking on the relationship between rapid population growth and economic performance. It was decidedly neo-Malthusian, arguing that only by bringing rapid population growth under control could countries hope to achieve improved economic performance and high standards of living.
This movement took as a given fact that rapid population growth harmed the prospects for development and that strong policies to reduce population growth rates were an essential precondition of sustained economic development National Academy of Sciences This was a return to mainstream neo-classical economics, which had always viewed Malthus's views as one-dimensional and simplistic, and which generally expressed skepticism about the strength of the relationship between high fertility and economic growth.
In an important sense, the NRC report broke the back of the population movement and ushered in a period of uncertainty about the priority that should be given to population policies, as well as about what the content of policy should be. An important conclusion to be drawn from the history recounted thus far is that the views of economists matter a great deal.
Indeed, notwithstanding Robert McNamara's deep commitment to population stabilization and his personal efforts to promote population policies during his presidency of the World Bank, the Bank's cadre of professional economists has for years succeeded in keeping population at a relatively low priority in terms of bank lending operations. More often than not, the macroeconomic and sector analytic work of the Bank pays scant attention to population dynamics, even in such chronically high fertility regions as Sub-Saharan Africa.
This brings us to the third, and current, stage of economic thinking on population and economic development.
They reasoned that rapidly declining fertility is accompanied by changes in the ratio between the economically active population and dependent population. As fertility falls, a larger proportion of the population is in the age range 15—65, compared with the under 15 and over 65 categories. Thus, assuming countries also pursue sensible pro-growth economic policies, the demographic bonus ought to translate into a jump in income per capita.
Applying the model to the Asian Tigers Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailandthese economists found that the data fit the model extremely well. Countries that incorporated strong and effective population policies within the broader context of social and economic development policies were able to cash in very profitably on the demographic bonus. This latest chapter in the ongoing saga of macroeconomic thinking on population—economic interactions does not by any means represent a new consensus.
Poverty in India
But as the research accumulates, more and more policymakers are paying attention to it and forming their own ideas in accordance with the findings. What do we know—micro? One might expect that economists interested in examining the impact of fertility on household income would pay more attention to the micro-level than to the macro-level, but this is not the case. Much more research has been conducted at the macro-level than at the micro-level, probably because of the greater availability of appropriate datasets.
They typically do not incur any or significant rent expenses every month particularly in rural India, unlike housing in mostly urban developed economies. The cost of food and other essentials are shared within the household by its members in both cases. However, a larger portion of a monthly expenditure goes to food in poor households in developing countries,  while housing, conveyance and other essentials cost significantly more in developed economies.
For its current poverty rate measurements, India calculates two benchmarks. The first includes a basket of goods including food items but does not include the implied value of home, value of any means of conveyance or the economic value of other essentials created, grown or used without a financial transaction, by the members of a household.
India's Poverty Profile
The second poverty line benchmark adds rent value of residence as well as the cost of conveyance, but nothing else, to the first benchmark. After China accepted opium trade, the colonial government dedicated more land exclusively to poppy,  the opium agriculture in India rose from throughwhen overacres of the most fertile Ganges basin farms were devoted to poppy cultivation,  opium processing factories owned by colonial officials were expanded in Benares and Patnaand shipping expanded from Bengal to the ports of East Asia such as Hong Kong, all under exclusive monopoly of the British.
As fertility rates drop, the ratio of potential workers people aged to nonworkers people 14 or younger and people aged 65 and older rises, meaning that more workers are responsible for fewer children.
The reduction in the ratio of youthful dependents to working-age adults should enable countries to increase their stocks of physical and human capital schools and well-trained teachers, health care facilities and well-trained health workers, and modern communications networks and well-trained workers to staff them. However, opening a demographic window of opportunity does not guarantee a surge in economic growth. For one thing, it is temporary, because low fertility will eventually increase the proportion of another dependent group—the population made up of older people who are no longer working.
The intensity of the age-structure effect depends on the speed with which the transition to low fertility takes place. It also depends on countries' pursuing sound economic and social policies, to enable the large wave of potential workers to acquire skills and find productive employment.
When this happens, as it did in countries like South Korea and Taiwan, a temporary surge in the accumulation of physical and human capital contributes to a rapid rise in living standards. Research on the effects of rapid fertility decline in Latin America raises some cautionary signs. Economic growth has been slower in Latin America than it was in East Asia in the s, in part because of the failure of countries in this region to invest as much in education, especially for the poor.
Moreover, economic policies in these countries were less conducive to the creation of productive employment for the working-age population.
Similar policy failures in South Asia raise the prospect that India and Bangladesh, which are now moving into the later stages of their transitions to low fertility, may not benefit at all from the favorable demographic conditions created by those transitions.
The demographic window of opportunity is a one-time and relatively brief phenomenon around two decades, depending on the speed of the transition9 and it would be a sad irony if the successful efforts of countries to achieve lower population growth failed to reduce poverty because their accompanying economic policies were misguided or were instituted too late.
High Fertility, Rapid Growth and Poverty Although the concerns of early neo-Malthusians that high fertility actually inhibits the efforts of poor countries to reduce poverty were discounted by many economists, 10 recent studies have supported their argument.
Comparisons of poor countries that experienced rapid fertility decline with those that did not find that high fertility increases absolute levels of poverty both by retarding economic growth which reduces the possibility of growth-induced poverty reduction and by worsening the distribution of additional income created by economic growth.
This may be one reason why simple cross-national comparisons of links between fertility and poverty levels fail to reveal much of a correlation. Economists point out that global food production has exceeded population growth for several decades, and that food scarcity and malnutrition depend more on agricultural and trade policies and on poor people's ability to buy food than on rates of population growth.
Interestingly, a recent report on the global food outlook agrees with both of these points, but also notes that malnutrition in poor countries would be substantially lower if population growth in those countries were closer to the low variant than to the medium variant of United Nations population projections. Family Size and Household-Level Poverty Recognizing that demographics have a dual impact on poverty both on overall growth and on improvements in living standards for the poorest families raises the question of whether high fertility is an obstacle to poverty reduction within households.
For example, children in large families perform less well in school and less well on intelligence tests than do children from small families. When economic class is controlled for, the correlation is approximately halved, but remains significantly negative. Furthermore, large family size seems to inhibit the physical development of children, possibly through lower-quality maternity care and poorer nutrition. Finally, links between family size and measures of parental welfare are less clear and vary over the life cycle; effects on the mother's allocation of time among childrear-ing, market work and leisure depend on the compatibility of work opportunities with child care.
High parity increases women's exposure to the risk of maternal death over the reproductive life cycle. As was mentioned earlier, economists have been quick to point out that correlation does not imply causality and that causality could run in the opposite direction. The failure to recognize that the linkage between poverty and high fertility operates in both directions was one of the major shortcomings of early neo-Malthusians. More recent research on fertility determinants has brought a more balanced recognition of the interplay of supply and demand for children and the role of family planning in relation to other proximate determinants of fertility, such as age at marriage, as countries went through the transition from high fertility to low fertility.
Despite the extensive literature on the effects of educational status on reproductive behavior, the positive impact on educational attainment that accrues when couples are able to control the number and timing of their births has received less attention.
In research on the effects of Thailand's rapid fertility decline, demographers who examined this issue found that reduced fertility enabled families to invest more per child and thereby to educate each child better. The effects were observed at later stages of Thailand's fertility transition and in a context in which the costs of education were borne mainly by children's parents rather than by the state.
This point was emphasized in a four-country analysis of the effects of excess fertility, unintended births and children's education. In Kenya and Egypt, however, no such effect appeared. The study in the latter two countries looked at conditions prevailing at an earlier stage of the transition to low fertility, when the costs of educating children were largely assumed by the state and did not fall directly on the parents.
These researchers conclude by pointing to a "virtuous circle" linking mothers and their children. The children of women who are able to avoid unintended or excess fertility benefit through better education; as adults, they will be better equipped to manage their own fertility and will do a better job of providing an education for the next generation.
This point echoes an earlier researcher's conclusions about positive links between fertility decline and poverty reduction at the societal level: Helping women to avoid excess or unwanted fertility helps them, their children and the society in which they live. New research has also broadened the scope of inquiry into the links between household demographics and welfare, with particular focus on factors affecting gender relations in society and within households.
These studies reveal an interplay of forces far more complex than the links between family size and welfare outcomes. Such research points to a number of reasons why parental expectations about the benefits and costs of rearing another child may not be realized or could lead to a reduction rather than an improvement in their own and their children's well-being.
The disadvantaged position of poor women is evident in special tabulations prepared for the World Bank on two indicators from the Demographic and Health Surveys—using a contraceptive method, and having a trained birth attendant present at the time of delivery. The overall proportion of deliveries by a skilled attendant was higher in Africa than in South Asia, but both had very large differentials by poverty status.
South Asia had a higher average level of contraceptive use than Africa, and the gap between rich and poor was less than for having a skilled birth attendant. One reason that the rich-poor gap is smaller for contraceptive use than for the presence of a skilled attendant at delivery is that family planning is less dependent on health infrastructure, particularly in countries like Bangladesh, where the family planning outreach effort is vigorous.