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Rural Poverty and Employment Effects of Bt Cotton in India

  • Subramanian, Arjunan
  • Qaim, Matin
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    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 analyze welfare and distribution effects in a typical village economy. Bt cotton adoption increases aggregate employment with interesting gender implications. Likewise, aggregate household incomes rise, including for poor and vulnerable farmers, highlighting that Bt cotton contributes to poverty reduction and rural development.

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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/50555
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    Paper provided by International Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China with number 50555.

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    Date of creation: 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae09:50555
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.iaae-agecon.org/Email:


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    1. David Zilberman & Holly Ameden & Matin Qaim, 2007. "The impact of agricultural biotechnology on yields, risks, and biodiversity in low-income countries," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(1), pages 63-78.
    2. Elbehri, Aziz & Macdonald, Steve, 2004. "Estimating the Impact of Transgenic Bt Cotton on West and Central Africa: A General Equilibrium Approach," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(12), pages 2049-2064, December.
    3. Carl Pray & Danmeng Ma & Jikun Huang & Fangbin Qiao, 2001. "Impact of Bt Cotton in China," CEMA Working Papers 510, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
    4. Benjamin Crost & Bhavani Shankar & Richard Bennett & Stephen Morse, 2007. "Bias from Farmer Self-Selection in Genetically Modified Crop Productivity Estimates: Evidence from Indian Data," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(1), pages 24-36, 02.
    5. Kym Anderson & Ernesto Valenzuela & Lee Ann Jackson, 2008. "Recent and Prospective Adoption of Genetically Modified Cotton: A Global Computable General Equilibrium Analysis of Economic Impacts," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 265-296.
    6. A. de Janvry & E. Sadoulet, 2002. "World Poverty and the Role of Agricultural Technology: Direct and Indirect Effects," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(4), pages 1-26.
    7. Huang, Jikun & Hu, Ruifa & van Meijl, Hans & van Tongeren, Frank, 2004. "Biotechnology boosts to crop productivity in China: trade and welfare implications," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 27-54, October.
    8. Qaim, Matin, 2003. "Bt Cotton in India: Field Trial Results and Economic Projections," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(12), pages 2115-2127, December.
    9. Carl Pray & Anwar Naseem, 2007. "Supplying crop biotechnology to the poor: Opportunities and constraints," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(1), pages 192-217.
    10. Subramanian, Arjunan & Qaim, Matin, 2009. "Village-wide Effects of Agricultural Biotechnology: The Case of Bt Cotton in India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 256-267, January.
    11. Pyatt, F Graham & Round, Jeffery I, 1979. "Accounting and Fixed Price Multipliers in a Social Accounting Matrix Framework," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 89(356), pages 850-73, December.
    12. Qaim, Matin & De Janvry, Alain, 2005. "Bt cotton and pesticide use in Argentina: economic and environmental effects," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(02), pages 179-200, May.
    13. Matin Qaim & Arjunan Subramanian & Gopal Naik & David Zilberman, 2006. "Adoption of Bt Cotton and Impact Variability: Insights from India," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 28(1), pages 48-58.
    14. Richard Bennett & Uma Kambhampati & Stephen Morse & Yousouf Ismael, 2006. "Farm-Level Economic Performance of Genetically Modified Cotton in Maharashtra, India," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 28(1), pages 59-71.
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