AbstractThe construction of large dams is one of the most costly and controversial forms of public infrastructure investment in developing countries, but little is known about their impact. This paper studies the productivity and distributional effects of large dams in India. To account for endogenous placement of dams we use GIS data and the fact that river gradient affects a district's suitability for dams to provide instrumental variable estimates of their impact. We find that, in a district where a dam is built, agricultural production does not increase but poverty does. In contrast, districts located downstream from the dam benefit from increased irrigation and see agricultural production increase and poverty fall. Overall, our estimates suggest that large dam construction in India is a marginally cost-effective investment with significant distributional implications, and has, in aggregate, increased poverty.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Economic Growth Center, Yale University in its series Working Papers with number 923.
Length: 55 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2005
Date of revision:
Dams; Development Planning; Program Evaluation; India;
Other versions of this item:
- O21 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Planning Models; Planning Policy
- O12 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
- H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
- H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGR-2005-09-29 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2005-09-29 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2005-09-29 (Development)
- NEP-ENV-2005-09-29 (Environmental Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Abhijit Banerjee & Lakshmi Iyer, 2010.
"History Institutions and Economic Performance: The Legacy of Colonial Land Tenure Systems in India,"
- Abhijit Banerjee & Lakshmi Iyer, 2005. "History, Institutions, and Economic Performance: The Legacy of Colonial Land Tenure Systems in India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1190-1213, September.
- McKinsey, J.W. & Evenson, R., 1999. "Technology-Climate Interactions in the Green Revolution in India," Papers 805, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
- Antonio Estache, 1994. "World Development Report: Infrastructure for Development," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/44144, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Jonathan Morduch, 1995.
"Income Smoothing and Consumption Smoothing,"
Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers
1727, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Robert E. Evenson & James W. McKinsey, 1999. "Technology -- Climate Interactions in the Green Revolution in India," Working Papers 805, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
- Petia Topalova, 2005.
"Trade Liberalization, Poverty, and Inequality: Evidence from Indian Districts,"
NBER Working Papers
11614, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Petia Topalova, 2007. "Trade Liberalization, Poverty and Inequality: Evidence from Indian Districts," NBER Chapters, in: Globalization and Poverty, pages 291-336 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Petia Topalova, 2005. "Trade Liberalization, Poverty And Inequality: Evidence From Indian Districts," Working Papers id:222, eSocialSciences.
- Petia Topalova, 2010.
"Factor Immobility and Regional Impacts of Trade Liberalization: Evidence on Poverty from India,"
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics,
American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 1-41, October.
- Petia Topalova, 2010. "Factor Immobility and Regional Impacts of Trade Liberalization Evidenceon Poverty From India," IMF Working Papers 10/218, International Monetary Fund.
- Étienne Gilbert, 1994. "Banque mondiale, World Development Report 1994, Infrastructure for development," Revue Tiers Monde, Programme National Persée, vol. 35(140), pages 939-939.
- Gramlich, Edward M, 1994. "Infrastructure Investment: A Review Essay," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(3), pages 1176-96, September.
- Esfahani, Hadi Salehi & Ramirez, Maria Teresa, 2003. "Institutions, infrastructure, and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 443-477, April.
- Banerjee, Abhijit & Somanathan, Rohini, 2007.
"The political economy of public goods: Some evidence from India,"
Journal of Development Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 287-314, March.
- Abhijit Banerjee & Rohini Somanathan, 2004. "The political economy of public goods: Some evidence from India," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 04-17, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
- Deaton, Angus, 1989. "Rice Prices and Income Distribution in Thailand: A Non-parametric Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(395), pages 1-37, Supplemen.
- Dams (QJE 2007) in ReplicationWiki
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Louise Danishevsky).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.