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Long-run impacts of land regulation: evidence from tenancy reform in India

Besley, Timothy, Leight, Jessica, Pande, Rohini and Rao, Vijayendra (2016) Long-run impacts of land regulation: evidence from tenancy reform in India. Journal of Development Economics, 118. pp. 72-87. ISSN 0304-3878

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2015.08.001

Abstract

Agricultural tenancy reforms have been widely enacted, but evidence on their long-run impact remains limited. In this paper, we provide such evidence by exploiting the quasi-random assignment of linguistically similar areas to different South Indian states that subsequently varied in tenancy regulation policies. Given imperfect credit markets, the impact of tenancy reform should vary by household wealth status, allowing us to exploit historic caste-based variation in landownership. Thirty years after the reforms, land inequality is lower in areas that saw greater intensity of tenancy reform, but the impact differs across caste groups. Tenancy reforms increase own cultivation among middle-caste households, but render low-caste households more likely to work as daily agricultural laborers. At the same time, agricultural wages increase. These results are consistent with tenancy regulations increasing land sales to relatively richer and more productive middle-caste tenants, but reducing land access for poorer low-caste tenants.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-of-develo...
Additional Information: © 2015 Elsevier B.V.
Divisions: Economics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD100 Land Use
JEL classification: O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O12 - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O13 - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Other Primary Products
Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q1 - Agriculture > Q15 - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation
Sets: Departments > Economics
Collections > Economists Online
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2016 14:06
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2019 20:17
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/65333

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