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Road to Specialization in Agricultural Production: Evidence from Rural China


  • Qin, Yu
  • Zhang, Xiaobo


We used a primary panel survey at the household level conducted in 18 remote natural villages over three waves in China to study how road access shapes farmers’ agricultural production patterns and input uses. Our results show that access to roads is strongly associated with specialization in agricultural production. In natural villages with better road access, farmers plant fewer numbers of crops, purchase more fertilizer, and invest more money on labor hiring. In combination of these factors, road connections improve household agricultural income, and in particular cash income. However, better access to rural roads does not appear to bring about significant changes in non-agricultural income.

Suggested Citation

  • Qin, Yu & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2012. "Road to Specialization in Agricultural Production: Evidence from Rural China," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126455, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae12:126455

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ren Mu & Dominique van de Walle, 2011. "Rural Roads and Local Market Development in Vietnam," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(5), pages 709-734.
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    10. Shenggen Fan & Peter Hazell, 2001. "Returns to Public Investments in the Less-Favored Areas of India and China," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1217-1222.
    11. Dorosh, Paul & Wang, Hyoung-Gun & You, Liang & Schmidt, Emily, 2010. "Crop production and road connectivity in Sub-Saharan Africa : a spatial analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5385, The World Bank.
    12. Gibson, John & Rozelle, Scott, 2003. "Poverty and Access to Roads in Papua New Guinea," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(1), pages 159-185, October.
    13. Benziger, Vincent, 1996. "Urban Access and Rural Productivity Growth in Post-Mao China," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(3), pages 539-570, April.
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    More about this item


    Rural Road; Agricultural Specialization; China; International Development; O18;

    JEL classification:

    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure

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