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The Impact of Bt Cotton on Poor Households in Rural India

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  • Arjunan Subramanian
  • Matin Qaim

Abstract

The impact of genetically modified (GM) crops on the poor in developing countries is still the subject of controversy. While previous studies have examined direct productivity effects of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cotton and other GM crops, little is known about wider socioeconomic outcomes. We use a microeconomic modelling approach and comprehensive survey data from India to analyse welfare and distribution effects in a typical village economy. Bt cotton adoption increases returns to labour, especially for hired female workers. Likewise, aggregate household incomes rise, including for poor and vulnerable farmers. Hence, Bt cotton contributes to poverty reduction and rural development.

Suggested Citation

  • Arjunan Subramanian & Matin Qaim, 2010. "The Impact of Bt Cotton on Poor Households in Rural India," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(2), pages 295-311.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:46:y:2010:i:2:p:295-311 DOI: 10.1080/00220380903002954
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    Cited by:

    1. Ramaswami, Bharat & Pray, Carl E. & Lalitha, N., 2012. "The Spread of Illegal Transgenic Cotton Varieties in India: Biosafety Regulation, Monopoly, and Enforcement," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 177-188.
    2. Shah, Deepak K., 2012. "Bt Cotton in India: A Review of Adoption, Government Interventions and Investment Initiatives," Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Indian Society of Agricultural Economics, vol. 67(3).
    3. Vijesh Krishna & Matin Qaim & David Zilberman, 2016. "Transgenic crops, production risk and agrobiodiversity," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, pages 137-164.
    4. Kouser, Shahzad & Qaim, Matin & Abedullah, 2015. "Bt cotton and employment effects for female agricultural laborers in Pakistan: An application of double-hurdle model," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 212014, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    5. Smyth, Stuart J. & Falck-Zepeda, Jose & Ludlow, Karinne, 2016. "The Costs of Regulatory Delays for Genetically Modified Crops," Estey Centre Journal of International Law and Trade Policy, Estey Centre for Law and Economics in International Trade, vol. 17(2).
    6. Gouse, Marnus & Sengupta, Debdatta & Zambrano, Patricia & Zepeda, José Falck, 2016. "Genetically Modified Maize: Less Drudgery for Her, More Maize for Him? Evidence from Smallholder Maize Farmers in South Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 27-38.
    7. Klara Fischer & Camilla Eriksson, 2016. "Social Science Studies on European and African Agriculture Compared: Bringing Together Different Strands of Academic Debate on GM Crops," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(9), pages 1-17, August.
    8. Krishna, Vijesh V. & Qaim, Matin, 2012. "Bt cotton and sustainability of pesticide reductions in India," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, pages 47-55.
    9. Jonas Kathage & Matin Qaim, 2011. "Are the economic benefits of Bt cotton sustainable? Evidence from Indian panel data," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 80, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    10. Vijesh Krishna & Matin Qaim & David Zilberman, 2016. "Transgenic crops, production risk and agrobiodiversity," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, pages 137-164.
    11. Amrita Chatterjee & Arpita Ghose, 2016. "Consumer’s Acceptance towards Genetically Modified Crops and Growth of the Economy: A Theoretical Approach," Working Papers 2016-137, Madras School of Economics,Chennai,India.
    12. Klara Fischer & Elisabeth Ekener-Petersen & Lotta Rydhmer & Karin Edvardsson Björnberg, 2015. "Social Impacts of GM Crops in Agriculture: A Systematic Literature Review," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(7), pages 1-23, July.
    13. Kabunga, Nassul S. & Dubois, Thomas & Qaim, Matin, 2014. "Impact of tissue culture banana technology on farm household income and food security in Kenya," Food Policy, Elsevier, pages 25-34.
    14. Ramasundaram, P. & Suresh, A. & Samuel, Josily & Wankhade, Shwetal, 2014. "Welfare Gains from Application of First Generation Biotechnology in Indian Agriculture: The Case of Bt Cotton," Agricultural Economics Research Review, Agricultural Economics Research Association (India), vol. 27(1).
    15. Kouser, Shahzad & Qaim, Matin, 2011. "Impact of Bt cotton on pesticide poisoning in smallholder agriculture: A panel data analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 2105-2113, September.
    16. Krishna, Vijesh V. & Qaim, Matin, 2011. "Pesticide Reduction Sustainability of Bt Technology in India," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114696, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    17. Chellattan Veettil, Prakashan & Krishna, Vijesh V. & Qaim, Matin, 2014. "Bt Cotton and Ecosystem Impacts of Pesticide Reductions," Discussion Papers 180977, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.

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