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Inflation, Macroeconomic Policy And Hunger: A Variation On A Theme

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Executive Summary

This paper re-emphasizes the importance of price stability as a tool for macroeconomic policy and make it more specific by considering a typically (unanticipated) advantage of stabilizing the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The author briefly reviews the recent economic growth performance of the Indian economy and recounts the sluggish response of poverty to high economic growth. Further, hunger (calorie deficiency) has actually increased during the post-reform period. Using household level National Sample Survey (NSS) data for 1993 - 94 and 2004 - 05 the paper shows that calorie intakes in both rural and urban areas are sensitive to commodity (in particular foodgrain) prices.

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