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Health, Technical Efficiency, And Agricultural Production In Indian Districts


  • Atheendar S. Venkataramani

    () (Washington University School of Medicine)

  • K.R. Shanmugam

    () (Madras School of Economics)

  • Jennifer Prah Ruger

    () (Yale University Schools of Medicine and Public Health)


We investigate whether better population health may impact economic performance through improvements in technical efficiency in agricultural production. Using district-level data from India, we employ a random-coefficients approach to estimate a Cobb-Douglas production function, computing overall and input-specific technical efficiencies for each district. We then model health (district infant mortality rate) as a determinant of (in)efficiency in a second stage, controlling for a range of other socioeconomic variables. In the preferred specifications, we find that decreases in the infant mortality rate are associated with substantively and statistically significant increases in overall technical efficiency, and that a good portion of this association is likely due to improvements in the efficiency of labor use.

Suggested Citation

  • Atheendar S. Venkataramani & K.R. Shanmugam & Jennifer Prah Ruger, 2010. "Health, Technical Efficiency, And Agricultural Production In Indian Districts," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 35(4), pages 1-23, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:jed:journl:v:35:y:2010:i:4:p:1-23

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    Cited by:

    1. Tankari, Mahamadou Roufahi, 2014. "Quelles zones cibler pour accroître l’efficacité agricole en Ouganda?," MPRA Paper 53396, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Svitlana Maksymenko & Mahbub Rabbani, 2011. "Economic Reforms, Human Capital, And Economic Growth In India And South Korea: A Cointegration Analysis," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 36(2), pages 39-59, June.
    3. C. Simon Fan, 2011. "The Luxury Axiom, The Wealth Paradox, And Child Labor," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 36(3), pages 25-45, September.

    More about this item


    Agricultural Production; Economic Development; Health; India; Labor; Random Coefficients; Technical Efficiency;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development


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