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Agriculture, economic growth and regional disparities in India


  • Pratap S. Birthal
  • Harvinder Singh
  • Shiv Kumar


This paper investigates the process of convergence and catching-up among major Indian states during 1980/81–2004/05—a period of economic liberalisation and accelerated economic growth, and also analyses the factors that enhance economic growth and lead states towards an identical steady state. In particular, we examine the role of agricultural conditions in this process. Results indicate absolute divergence in income levels across states. However, after controlling for structural characteristics of states there is a strong tendency of convergence among states. Physical infrastructure and human capital are found to enhance economic growth, but alone are not sufficient for convergence. For convergence, the investment in physical infrastructure and human resources should be accompanied by a reduction in employment pressure on agriculture by improving labour market linkages of agriculture with non‐agricultural sectors, and by promoting growth‐enhancing labour‐intensive agricultural technologies. Copyright (C) 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Pratap S. Birthal & Harvinder Singh & Shiv Kumar, 2011. "Agriculture, economic growth and regional disparities in India," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(1), pages 119-131, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:23:y:2011:i:1:p:119-131

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    Cited by:

    1. Andersson, Fredrik N.G. & Edgerton, David L. & Opper, Sonja, 2013. "A Matter of Time: Revisiting Growth Convergence in China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 239-251.
    2. Binswanger-Mkhize, Hans P. & D'Souza, Alwin, 2015. "Structural Change and Agricultural Performance at the State Level in India: 1980-2010," Agricultural Economics Research Review, Agricultural Economics Research Association (India), vol. 28(1).
    3. Rao, N. Chandrasekhara, 2015. "Disadvantaged Regions and Social Groups: Is There a Way Out?," Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Indian Society of Agricultural Economics, vol. 70(3), pages 1-12.
    4. Tirtha Chatterjee, 2017. "Spatial Convergence and Growth in Indian Agriculture: 1967–2010," Journal of Quantitative Economics, Springer;The Indian Econometric Society (TIES), vol. 15(1), pages 121-149, March.
    5. Patra, Rabinarayan, 2014. "Agricultural Development In Odisha: Are The Disparities Growing?," International Journal of Food and Agricultural Economics (IJFAEC), Alanya Alaaddin Keykubat University, Department of Economics and Finance, vol. 2(3), pages 1-16, July.
    6. Mr. S.Hirashima, 2009. "Growth-Poverty Linkage and Income-Asset Relation in Regional Disparity: Evidence from Pakistan and India (The Allama Iqbal Memorial Lecture)," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 48(4), pages 357-386.
    7. Naranpanawa, Athula & Arora, Rashmi, 2014. "Does Trade Liberalization Promote Regional Disparities? Evidence from a Multiregional CGE Model of India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 339-349.
    8. Reddy, A. Amarender, 2015. "Regional Disparities in Profitability of Rice Production: Where Small Farmers Stand?," Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Indian Society of Agricultural Economics, vol. 70(3), pages 1-13.
    9. Sabine D'Costa & Enrique Garcilazo & Joaquim Oliveira Martins, 2012. "The effects of nation-wide policies on regional growth," ERSA conference papers ersa12p745, European Regional Science Association.
    10. repec:ags:aerrae:229302 is not listed on IDEAS


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