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The Road to Specialization in Agricultural Production: Evidence from Rural China

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  • Qin, Yu
  • Zhang, Xiaobo

Abstract

Many rural poor in developing countries live in areas far away from markets and isolation is a key limiting factor to their livelihood. In this paper, we use four waves of a primary panel household survey conducted in 17 remote natural villages in China to study how road access shapes farmers’ production patterns, input use, and rural poverty. We adopt a difference-in-difference approach by comparing the outcomes of the households in villages with and without road access, before and after the introduction of each road. Our results show that access to roads facilitates specialization in agricultural production. In natural villages with better road access, farmers plant fewer numbers of crops, purchase more fertilizer, and hire more labor. Consequently, road connections improve household agricultural income and reduce poverty. In addition, road access significantly increases local nonfarm income for the relatively poor households, but not the rich. Overall, our research provides empirical justification on the importance of rural road on agricultural specialization and poverty reduction, especially in isolated and impoverished regions.

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  • Qin, Yu & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2016. "The Road to Specialization in Agricultural Production: Evidence from Rural China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 1-16.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:77:y:2016:i:c:p:1-16
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2015.08.007
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    Cited by:

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    3. Michler, Jeffrey D. & Josephson, Anna L., 2017. "To Specialize or Diversify: Agricultural Diversity and Poverty Dynamics in Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 214-226.
    4. Dániel Fróna & János Szenderák & Mónika Harangi-Rákos, 2019. "The Challenge of Feeding the World," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(20), pages 1-18, October.
    5. Wang, Xiaobing & Huang, Jikun & Rozelle, Scott, 2017. "Off-farm employment and agricultural specialization in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 155-165.
    6. Kumari, Anita & Kumar Sharma, Anil, 2017. "Infrastructure financing and development: A bibliometric review," International Journal of Critical Infrastructure Protection, Elsevier, vol. 16(C), pages 49-65.
    7. Yu Qin, 2016. "China's Transport Infrastructure Investment: Past, Present, and Future," Asian Economic Policy Review, Japan Center for Economic Research, vol. 11(2), pages 199-217, July.
    8. Shyhrete Muriqi & Maria Fekete-Farkas & Zsolt Baranyai, 2019. "Drivers of Cooperation Activity in Kosovo’s Agriculture," Agriculture, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(5), pages 1-12, May.
    9. María Adelaida Ortega, 2018. "Conectando mercados: vías rurales y producción agrícola en el contexto de una economía dual," Documentos CEDE 016818, Universidad de los Andes - CEDE.
    10. Xiaoshi Zhou & Wanglin Ma & Gucheng Li & Huanguang Qiu, 2020. "Farm machinery use and maize yields in China: an analysis accounting for selection bias and heterogeneity," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 64(4), pages 1282-1307, October.
    11. Xiangyu Wu & Yunlong Ding, 2018. "The Service Supply Effect of Cooperatives under Economic Transformation: A Demand-Supply Perspective," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(9), pages 1-18, August.
    12. Zhang, Xueliang & Hu, Yuqi & Lin, Yongran, 2020. "The influence of highway on local economy: Evidence from China's Yangtze River Delta region," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 82(C).
    13. Bruno Morando, 2021. "Market access and inecient cropping patterns in Uganda," Economics Department Working Paper Series n309-21.pdf, Department of Economics, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.

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