© 2018

Household Behaviour, Prices, and Welfare

A Collection of Essays Including Selected Empirical Studies


Part of the Themes in Economics book series (THIE)

About this book


This collection of essays covers a diverse set of topics related to household behavior and welfare. Prices play a key role in several of the essays, particularly the distributional implications of price movements, and the effects of changes in relative prices on inequality and poverty. This book shows the shift in the literature on prices from being an exclusively macro topic featuring the study of inflation and cross-country comparisons to one that is firmly rooted in micro theory-based analysis of household behavior. It also includes recent developments in the poverty measurement literature, documenting the shift from the exclusively money metric and unidimensional poverty measures to multidimensional poverty encompassing a wider view of deprivation. Largely, but not exclusively, focusing on India, the book also features global comparisons of welfare. Intra country spatial comparisons along with cross country comparisons of household behavior and welfare feature in several of the essays in this book. The book also compares the effects of selected public delivery schemes in India on the health of its children. It is a useful resource for researchers and serves as reading material for advanced graduate courses on development in India and elsewhere.


Household Welfare Inequality Poverty Household Behaviour Deprivation Public Delivery Schemes

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia

About the authors

Ranjan Ray is a Professor of economics at Monash University, Australia. Prior to this, he was Lecturer in Econometrics (1979-89) at the University of Manchester, UK, Professor of Public Economics (1989-95) at the Delhi School of Economics and the Professor and Head of the Department of Economics (1995-2008) at the University of Tasmania, Australia. He has also held visiting positions at the University of British Columbia, Canada, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy and Cornell University, USA. He has taught and researched in a wide range of areas. His papers have a shared focus on methodological advancement, empirical investigation and welfare based policy application.

Bibliographic information


“The measurement of prices, PPPs, demand estimation and welfare measures, living standards and inequality. These and more are in this excellent book by Ranjan Ray. An attractive blend of theory and measurement, the book will be a source of inspiration for all those wanting to learn about recent developments in the measurement of prices and welfare within and between countries.” (Kenneth W Clements, Professor of Economics, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, Australia)

“This book contains a selection from the outstanding life-time scholarly contributions of Professor Ranjan Ray… A distinguishing feature of the book is the ideal and balanced mixture of theory, empirics and policy. It highlights the importance of monetary and non-monetary measures in assessing welfare and poverty at the national level as well as at the global level. Through these essays, Professor Ray demonstrates his mastery over micro-economic theory and his command over econometric tools necessary to deal with diverse measurement issues such as the estimation of equivalence scales; index number methods for temporal and spatial price comparisons and compilation of purchasing power parities; optimal taxation and tax reforms; and for the measurement of multidimensional of poverty and deprivation.  The book contains a treasure of cutting-edge techniques and empirical tools for researchers interested in measuring the distributional impact of price movements on household welfare, inequality and poverty.” (D.S. Prasada Rao, Emeritus Professor, School of Economics, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Australia)

“This book, which is a collection of papers, written by Ranjan Ray over the years, on the above topics, mainly in the context of the Indian economy, with occasional forays to other nations, such as China, Vietnam, Canada and Australia, is an erudite and authoritative work. The value of the book lies in the wonderful, encapsulated account it gives of all the specialized work that goes on behind the production of these headline numbers concerning inequality, poverty and household welfare, in India and other economies, that all of us take an interest in and only a few fully understand. The book also goes into related areas such as commodity taxation and tax reform…  Reading these essays not only helps one understand the full significance of some of these concepts and indicators but also makes one aware of their strengths and weaknesses … .” (Kaushik Basu, Professor of Economics and Carl Marks Professor at Cornell University, New York, USA)