Nutrition, Activity Intensity and Wage Linkages: Evidence from India


The present study tests the twin hypotheses, namely, (a) the poverty nutrition trap hypothesis that wages affect nutritional status, and (b) the activity hypothesis that activity intensity affects adult nutrition as measured by the Body Mass Index (BMI) in the context of India. The analyses draw upon three rounds of National Family Health Survey (NFHS) data in 1992, 1998 and 2005 and National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) data in 2005. Our results indicate strong support for both the hypotheses in India. Physically intensive activity tends to worsen the nutritional conditions and there is evidence for a poverty nutrition trap associated with labor market participation.


Adult Nutrition, Malnutrition, Poverty Trap, Activity Intensity, Quantile Regressions, Pseudo Panel, India

JEL Classification

C21, C23, I14


Katsushi S. IMAI
Economics, School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester, UK

Samuel Kobina ANNIM
Economics, School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester, UK &
Department of Economics, University of Cape Coast, Ghana

Arkansas State University, USA

Raghav GAIHA
Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi, IndiaK