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


  • Esther Duflo
  • Rohini Pande

This paper studies the productivity and distributional effects of large irrigation dams in India. Our instrumental variable estimates exploit the fact that river gradient affects a district's suitability for dams. In districts located downstream from a dam, agricultural production increases, and vulnerability to rainfall shocks declines. In contrast, agricultural production shows an insignificant increase in the district where the dam is located but its volatility increases. Rural poverty declines in downstream districts but increases in the district where the dam is built, suggesting that neither markets nor state institutions have alleviated the adverse distributional impacts of dam construction. Copyright by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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:
File Function: link to full text
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 MIT Press in its journal The Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 122 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 (05)
Pages: 601-646

in new window

Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:122:y:2007:i:2:p:601-646
Contact details of provider: Web page:

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. Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Binswanger, Hans P., 1992. "Wealth, weather risk, and the composition and profitability of agricultural investments," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1055, The World Bank.
  2. 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.
  3. Jonathan Morduch, 1995. "Income Smoothing and Consumption Smoothing," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1727, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  4. Robert E. Evenson & James W. McKinsey, 1999. "Technology -- Climate Interactions in the Green Revolution in India," Working Papers 805, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  5. McKinsey, J.W. & Evenson, R., 1999. "Technology-Climate Interactions in the Green Revolution in India," Papers 805, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  6. Manski, Charles F, 1990. "Nonparametric Bounds on Treatment Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 319-23, May.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Esfahani, Hadi Salehi & Ramirez, Maria Teresa, 2003. "Institutions, infrastructure, and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 443-477, April.
  10. Petia Topalova, 2005. "Trade Liberalization, Poverty And Inequality: Evidence From Indian Districts," Working Papers id:222, eSocialSciences.
  11. 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.
  12. Antonio Estache, 1994. "World Development Report: Infrastructure for Development," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/44144, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  13. Gramlich, Edward M, 1994. "Infrastructure Investment: A Review Essay," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(3), pages 1176-96, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. Dams (QJE 2007) in ReplicationWiki

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:122:y:2007:i:2:p:601-646. 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: (Anna Pollock-Nelson)

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.