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State-led or Market-led Green Revolution? Role of Private Irrigation Investment vis-a-vis Local Government Programs in West Bengal’s Farm Productivity Growth

  • Pranab Bardhan

    (Department of Economics, University of California, Berkeley)

  • Dilip Mookherjee


    (Department of Economics, Boston University)

  • Neha Kumar

    (International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington DC)

This paper estimates respective roles of private investments in irrigation and local government programs (land reforms, extension services, and infrastructure investments) in the growth of farm productivity in West Bengal, India between 1981-95. Using a farm panel from a stratified random sample of farms from major agricultural districts of West Bengal, we find evidence that private investment in irrigation which reduced irrigation costs for farms played an important role in the growth process. However, the growth in private investment was itself stimulated by tenancy registration and minikit distribution programs implemented by local governments. This channel helps account for the substantial spillover effects of the tenancy reform on non-tenant farms noted in an earlier study. Hence the observed productivity growth was a result of complementarity between private investment incentives and state-led institutional reforms.

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Paper provided by Boston University - Department of Economics in its series Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series with number dp-184.

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Length: 45
Date of creation: Apr 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bos:iedwpr:dp-184
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  1. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Paul J. Gertler & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2002. "Empowerment and Efficiency: Tenancy Reform in West Bengal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 239-280, April.
  2. Pranab Bardhan & Dilip Mookherjee, 2011. "Subsidized Farm Input Programs and Agricultural Performance: A Farm-Level Analysis of West Bengal's Green Revolution, 1982-1995," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 186-214, October.
  3. Pranab Bardhan & Dilip Mookherjee, 2006. "Pro-Poor Targeting and Accountability of Local Governments in West Bengal," Working Papers id:773, eSocialSciences.
  4. Abhijit Banerjee & Dilip Mookherjee & Kaivan Munshi & Debraj Ray, 2001. "Inequality, Control Rights, and Rent Seeking: Sugar Cooperatives in Maharashtra," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(1), pages 138-190, February.
  5. Dasgupta, Partha & Stiglitz, Joseph, 1980. "Industrial Structure and the Nature of Innovative Activity," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 266-93, June.
  6. Pranab Bardhan & Dilip Mookherjee, 2010. "Determinants of Redistributive Politics: An Empirical Analysis of Land Reforms in West Bengal, India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1572-1600, September.
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