Ethnic Disparities in Food Consumption and Household Nutrition Outcomes in India

Sumit Mazumdar, Institute for Human Development, New Delhi
Sudheer K. Shukla, Institute for Human Development, New Delhi
Abhishek Kumar, Institute for Human Development, New Delhi

This paper extends the conventional approach of studying differentials across ethnicity and social groups to derive a household level composite indicator of nutritional failure and examines disparities between indigenous tribal groups in India and other non-tribal groups. Using data from NFHS-3 and applying hurdle-models for the risks of nutritional failure and its severity, and Binder-Oaxaca decomposition techniques to compare and decompose disparities and role of predictors between tribal and non-tribal families, we find an average tribal family to have about 15% higher risks for aggregate nutritional failure. The disparities were found to effectuate through intervening effects of low women’s autonomy and very low mother’s education among the tribal households. Intuitively, a simple transfer of aggregate endowments from non-tribal families to a trial family was seen to erase about 87% of observed nutritional outcome differences.

  See paper

Presented in Session 227: Health Disparities in India