A recent Bloomberg Businessweek story on hunger in India cites research conducted by Assistant Professor of Economics Amit Basole, jointly with Professor Deepankar Basu of the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
In a working paper, Professors Basu and Basole scrutinize alternative explanations of the declining average per capita calorie consumption in India in a period of increasing real per capita monthly expenditures. Using a panel data set of 28 Indian states and the national capital territory of Delhi over a period of 16 years, they reject the hypothesis advanced by economists Angus Deaton and Jean Drèze in a 2009 paper, according to which the puzzling result is due to declining calorie needs. In their paper, Professors Basu and Basole show that it is the rise in spending for other essential items, such as education, health care, and transportation, which in combination with a decline in home-grown food and the diversification of diets, leads to the declining average per capita calorie consumption.
A shorter version of the story was published in the Times of India on October 27 and can be found here.
Professor Basole joined the Economics Department in fall 2012. He holds a PhD in economics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a PhD in neurobiology from Duke University. Prior to joining the University of Massachusetts Boston, Professor Basole held a position as a visiting assistant professor at Bucknell University.