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Is There a Nexus between Poverty and Environment in Rural India?


  • Bhattacharya, Haimanti
  • Innes, Robert


This paper presents an empirical analysis of the relationship between rural poverty and environmental change using district-level data from South, Central and West India. Unlike prior works, this study puts the hypothesis of bi-directional link between poverty and environment to econometric test. Environmental change is measured using a satellite-based vegetation index. Consonant with the dominant view in the literature, the evidence suggests that rural poverty spur vegetation degradation. The results also indicate that the vegetation degradation spurs rural poverty but the magnitude of the effect varies across sub regions classified on the basis of geographic and climatic factors. Thus these results provide evidence in support of existence of a poverty-environment nexus in rural India.

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  • Bhattacharya, Haimanti & Innes, Robert, 2006. "Is There a Nexus between Poverty and Environment in Rural India?," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21201, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea06:21201

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Swinton, Scott M. & Escobar, German & Reardon, Thomas, 2003. "Poverty and Environment in Latin America: Concepts, Evidence and Policy Implications," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(11), pages 1865-1872, November.
    2. Heath, John & Binswanger, Hans, 1996. "Natural resource degradation effects of poverty and population growth are largely policy-induced: the case of Colombia," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 65-84, February.
    3. Escobal, Javier & Aldana, Ursula, 2003. "Are Nontimber Forest Products the Antidote to Rainforest Degradation? Brazil Nut Extraction in Madre De Dios, Peru," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(11), pages 1873-1887, November.
    4. Jha,R., 2000. "Reducing Poverty and Inequality in India: Has Liberalization Helped?," Research Paper 204, World Institute for Development Economics Research.
    5. Bahamondes, Miguel, 2003. "Poverty-Environment Patterns in a Growing Economy: Farming Communities in Arid Central Chile, 1991-99," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(11), pages 1947-1957, November.
    6. Raghbendra Jha & Bagala Biswal & Urvashi D. Biswal, 2001. "An Empirical Analysis of the Impact of Public Expenditures on Education and Health on Poverty in Indian States," Working Papers 998, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    7. Kanchan Chopra & S. Gulati, 1997. "Environmental degradation and population movements: The role of property rights," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 9(4), pages 383-408, June.
    8. Masako Ikefuji & Ryo Horii, 2007. "Wealth Heterogeneity and Escape from the Poverty-Environment Trap," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 9(6), pages 1041-1068, December.
    9. Selden Thomas M. & Song Daqing, 1994. "Environmental Quality and Development: Is There a Kuznets Curve for Air Pollution Emissions?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 147-162, September.
    10. Reardon, Thomas & Vosti, Stephen A., 1995. "Links between rural poverty and the environment in developing countries: Asset categories and investment poverty," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(9), pages 1495-1506, September.
    11. Dasgupta, Susmita & Deichmann, Uwe & Meisner, Craig & Wheeler, David, 2003. "The poverty/environment nexus in Cambodia and Lao People's Democratic Republic," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2960, The World Bank.
    12. Banerjee, Abhijit & Somanathan, Rohini, 2007. "The political economy of public goods: Some evidence from India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 287-314, March.
    13. Ravallion, Martin & Datt, Gaurav, 2002. "Why has economic growth been more pro-poor in some states of India than others?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 381-400, August.
    14. Esmaiel Abounoori & Patrick McCloughan, 2003. "A simple way to calculate the Gini Coefficient for grouped as well as ungrouped data," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(8), pages 505-509.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mukherjee, Sacchidananda & Chakraborty, Debashis, 2009. "Is there any relationship between Environmental Quality Index, Human Development Index and Economic Growth? Evidences from Indian States," MPRA Paper 17207, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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