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Submitted by Doug Johnson on

Great post, but you ignore a very large issue in the debate over potentially replacing PDS with cash transfers in India. Over-generalizing only slightly, most people who argue for replacing PDS with cash transfers believe a) that there are large leakages in the existing PDS, b) that these leakages could be reduced in a cash-based system and c) that this potential reduction in leakage dwarfs all other considerations. The studies you cite all compare a well-functioning cash transfer systems with a well-functioning food distribution system. So while this evidence is great, it doesn’t directly get at the core point of debate between those in favor of food and those in favor of cash, at least in India. Answering this question is obviously extremely difficult, but worth at least attempting.