Poverty Transitions, Health, and Socio-Economic Disparities in India

Working paper number: 
Paper Abstract: 
SDGs offer an inclusive and just vision for 2030, in which the interrelationships between (near) elimination of poverty, health reforms and elimination of socio-economic disparities play an important role. The present study focuses on the associations between poverty transitions over a period, and health indicators such as NCDs, disabilities, socio-economic disparities, state affluence and inequality in income distribution. These health indicators reflect their growing importance in recent years. We have used a Multinomial Probit specification which is an improvement on the methodologies used in earlier research. The analysis is based on panel data from the India Human Development Survey 2015. What our analysis emphasises is that changes in the prevalence of poverty/headcount ratio over time do not throw light on how poverty has evolved: whether there were escapes from poverty, whether there were descents into poverty, whether segments persisted in poverty, and whether (the relatively) affluent remained largely unaffected. A significant contribution of this study is to explore the relationships between such poverty transitions and NCDs and disabilities, socio-economic disparities and other covariates. The analysis confirms these linkages. Drawing upon this analysis and other relevant research, policy challenges in achieving the SDG vision of an inclusive and fair economy are delineated.