Food availability

Unlike Sen, I consider that one cannot discuss famines without constantly taking into account aggregate food supply. For this reason, I would like to distinguish several degrees of shortage:

Since there is always some maldistribution, the situation will always be worse than this classification indicates. Even when there is no shortage, some people suffer from malnutrition.

By definition, a redistribution famine of the type Sen describes can only occur if there is no shortage or, perhaps, if there is a first degree shortage - if the shortage is any worse, there is a famine anyway. This means that to say a famine is of the redistribution type is not only to diagnose the cause, but also to assert that there is really no shortage.

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