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Labour Markets, Education, Health And Nutrition Notes
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LABOUR MARKETS, EDUCATION, HEALTH AND NUTRITION 'Development Economics' Ray 1998 (Ch. 8, 13) Chapter 8 -Poverty and Undernutrition
Poverty measurement issues o Overall expenditure or item-by-item consumption?
- Nutrition levels may not unambiguously ↑with income
- 'Income represents the capacity to consumers not consumption itself.' o Absolute or relative?
- 'although poverty lines should (and do) incorporate relative notions of what constitutes 'necessity' or 'basic needs', we must still think of them as fulfilling some absolute notion of the ability to function in a society.' E.g. number of people living •
'Just as the paucity of assets leads to poverty, a condition of poverty leads to the sale of assets.' Nutrition o 'In adults, chronic undernutrition diminishes muscular strength, immunity to disease, and the capacity to do productive work.' o Incidence of poverty and incidence of undernutrition may be ordinally related (poor person more likely to be undernourished than a rich person)
- BUT 'relationship between increases in income and increases in nutrition may or may not be strong.' o Direct nutrition supplements may have a greater impact on undernutrition than an↑in income:
- Nutrition is useful in a functional sense - to earn income.
- Individual preferences for food
High status food e.g. meat o Overall, ↑in income has significant effect on nutrition if nutrition measured by the consumption of calories o 'some evidence that pure nutritional concerns do not entirely drive household decision making.' o Estimated elasticities are high in the slack (non-harvest season). The functional impact of poverty o 'Economic poverty is the worst curse there is.'
Nutrition and the labour market: o Energy balance
- Energy input
- Resting metabolism
A significant proportion of the body's requirements
- Energy required for work
'The labour of the poor is often physical labour, and physical labour requires significant amounts of energy.'
- Storage and borrowing
'In the short or medium run, excesses or deficits can be cushioned (to some extent) by the human body.' o Capacity curve
- At first, most nutrition goes into maintaining resting metabolism, and so sustaining the basic frame of the body
Little energy left for work o 'Although low incomes create low nutrition, low nutrition is capable of creating low incomes.'
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