IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Does Urbanization Affect Rural Poverty? Evidence from Indian Districts

  • Massimiliano Cal�
  • Carlo Menon

Although a high rate of urbanization and a high incidence of rural poverty are two distinct features of many developing countries, there is little knowledge of the effects of the former on the latter. Using a large sample of Indian districts from the 1983–1999 period, we find that urbanization has a substantial and systematic poverty-reducing effect in the surrounding rural areas. The results obtained through an instrumental variable estimation suggest that this effect is causal in nature and is largely attributable to the positive spillovers of urbanization on the rural economy rather than to the movement of the rural poor to urban areas. This rural poverty-reducing effect of urbanization is primarily explained by increased demand for local agricultural products and, to a lesser extent, by urban-rural remittances, the rural land/population ratio, and rural nonfarm employment. Copyright 2013, Oxford University Press.

If 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.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by World Bank Group in its journal The World Bank Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 27 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 171-201

in new window

Handle: RePEc:oup:wbecrv:v:27:y:2013:i:2:p:171-201
Contact details of provider: Postal: Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK
Phone: (202) 477-1234
Fax: 01865 267 985
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web:

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. Plantinga, Andrew & Lubowski, Ruben & Stavins, Robert, 2002. "The Effects of Potential Land Development on Agricultural Land Prices," Working Paper Series rwp02-012, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  2. Marcel Fafchamps & Forhad Shilpi, 2000. "The Spatial Division of Labor in Nepal," Economics Series Working Papers 44, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  3. Frank Ellis, 1998. "Household strategies and rural livelihood diversification," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(1), pages 1-38.
  4. Kiminori Matsuyama, 1990. "Agricultural Productivity, Comparative Advantage, and Economic Growth," Discussion Papers 934, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. Deichmann, Uwe & Shilpi, Forhad & Vakis, Renos, 2008. "Spatial specialization and farm-nonfarm linkages," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4611, The World Bank.
  6. Subramanian, S. & Deaton, A., 1994. "The Demand for Food and Calories," Papers 175, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  7. Foster, Andrew D & Rosenzweig, Mark R, 2004. "Agricultural Productivity Growth, Rural Economic Diversity, and Economic Reforms: India, 1970-2000," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(3), pages 509-42, April.
  8. David Atkin, 2013. "Trade, Tastes and Nutrition in India," Working Papers id:5548, eSocialSciences.
  9. Philippe Aghion & Robin Burgess & Stephen Redding & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2005. "The unequal effects of liberalization: evidence from dismantling the license Raj in India," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3690, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  10. Kochar, Anjini, 2004. "Urban influences on rural schooling in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 113-136, June.
  11. Ravallion, Martin, 2001. "On the urbanization of poverty," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2586, The World Bank.
  12. Yoko Kijima & Lanjouw, Peter, 2003. "Poverty in India during the1990s - a regional perspective," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3141, The World Bank.
  13. Edward L. Glaeser & Jose A. Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 1995. "Economic Growth in a Cross-Section of Cities," NBER Working Papers 5013, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2000. "Land Reform, Poverty Reduction, and Growth: Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 389-430.
  15. Ravallion, Martin & Chen, Shaohua & Sangraula, Prem, 2007. "New evidence on the urbanization of global poverty," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4199, The World Bank.
  16. Beegle, Kathleen & De Weerdt, Joachim & Dercon, Stefan, 2008. "Migration and Economic Mobility in Tanzania: Evidence from a Tracking Survey," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4798, The World Bank.
  17. Jacoby, Hanan C, 2000. "Access to Markets and the Benefits of Rural Roads," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(465), pages 713-37, July.
  18. Robin Burgess & Rohini Pande, 2003. "Do Rural Banks Matter? Evidence from the Indian Social Banking Experiment," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 40, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  19. Gaurav Datt & Martin Ravallion, 1998. "Farm productivity and rural poverty in India," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(4), pages 62-85.
  20. Allen,Robert C., 2009. "The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521868273.
  21. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1994. "The Division of Labor, Coordination Costs, and Knowledge," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 299-322 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Williamson,Jeffrey G., 1990. "Coping with City Growth during the British Industrial Revolution," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521364805.
  23. Petia Topalova, 2005. "Trade Liberalization, Poverty, and Inequality: Evidence from Indian Districts," NBER Working Papers 11614, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Marcel Fafchamps & Forhad Shilpi, 2005. "Cities and Specialisation: Evidence from South Asia," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(503), pages 477-504, 04.
  25. James H. Stock & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Testing for Weak Instruments in Linear IV Regression," NBER Technical Working Papers 0284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Raghbendra Jha & K.V. Bhanu Murthy & Anurag Sharma, 2005. "Market Integration in Wholesale Rice Markets in India," ASARC Working Papers 2005-03, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.
  27. Berdegue, Julio A. & Ramirez, Eduardo & Reardon, Thomas & Escobar, German, 2001. "Rural Nonfarm Employment and Incomes in Chile," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 411-425, March.
  28. Gaurav Datt & Martin Ravallion, 2002. "Is India's Economic Growth Leaving the Poor Behind?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 89-108, Summer.
  29. Rana Hasan & Devashish Mitra & Beyza P. Ural, 2006. "Trade Liberalization, Labor-Market Institutions, and Poverty Reduction: Evidence from Indian States," India Policy Forum, Global Economy and Development Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 3(1), pages 71-122.
  30. Christopher F Baum & Mark E Schaffer & Steven Stillman, 2002. "IVREG2: Stata module for extended instrumental variables/2SLS and GMM estimation," Statistical Software Components S425401, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 29 Aug 2015.
  31. Mark E Schaffer, 2005. "XTIVREG2: Stata module to perform extended IV/2SLS, GMM and AC/HAC, LIML and k-class regression for panel data models," Statistical Software Components S456501, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 22 Feb 2015.
  32. Rao, P. Parthasarathy & Birthal, P. S. & Joshi, P. K. & Kar, D., 2004. "Agricultural diversification in India and role of urbanization," MTID discussion papers 77, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  33. Lanjouw, Peter & Shariff, Abusaleh, 2002. "Rural non farm employment in India : Access, income and poverty impact," Working Papers 81, National Council of Applied Economic Research.
  34. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1992. "The Division of Labor, Coordination Costs, and Knowledge," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1137-1160.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:wbecrv:v:27:y:2013:i:2:p:171-201. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.