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Evolution of Land Distribution in West Bengal 1967-2004: Role of Land Reform and Demographic Changes

Author

Listed:
  • Dilip Mookherjee

    () (Department of Economics, Boston University)

  • Pranab Bardhan

    (University of California, Berkeley)

  • Michael Luca

    (Department of Economics, Boston University)

  • Francisco Pino

    () (Department of Economics, Boston University)

Abstract

This paper uses recall data from a household survey to evaluate the roles of land reforms and demographic changes in explaining changes in land distribution in West Bengal between 1967-2004. The direct role of the land reforms was insignificant relative to household division, migration and land market transactions. We develop a model of how household division and market transactions are affected by demographic changes and land reforms, and find the evidence consistent with these predictions. However the tenancy registration program did not significantly reduce inequality, while the land title program reduced inequality by reducing landlessness directly.

Suggested Citation

  • Dilip Mookherjee & Pranab Bardhan & Michael Luca & Francisco Pino, 2010. "Evolution of Land Distribution in West Bengal 1967-2004: Role of Land Reform and Demographic Changes," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2010-037, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bos:wpaper:wp2010-037
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bardhan, Pranab & Mookherjee, Dilip, 2006. "Pro-poor targeting and accountability of local governments in West Bengal," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 303-327, April.
    2. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2000. "Land Reform, Poverty Reduction, and Growth: Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 389-430.
    3. Lambais, Guilherme B. R., 2008. "Land Reform in Brazil: the arrival of the market model," MPRA Paper 25446, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. 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.
    5. Catherine Guirkinger & Jean-Philippe Platteau, 2014. "The Effect of Land Scarcity on Farm Structure: Empirical Evidence from Mali," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62(2), pages 195-238.
    6. Bardhan, Pranab & Mookherjee, Dilip & Kumar, Neha, 2012. "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," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 222-235.
    7. Binswanger, Hans P. & Deininger, Klaus & Feder, Gershon, 1995. "Power, distortions, revolt and reform in agricultural land relations," Handbook of Development Economics,in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 42, pages 2659-2772 Elsevier.
    8. Besley, Timothy & Ghatak, Maitreesh, 2010. "Property Rights and Economic Development," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    9. Catherine Guirkinger & Jean-Philippe Platteau, 2011. "Transformation of the Family under Rising Land Pressure: A Theoretical Essay," WIDER Working Paper Series 030, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
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    11. Eswaran, Mukesh & Kotwal, Ashok, 1986. "Access to Capital and Agrarian Production Organisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(382), pages 482-498, June.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. Rawal, Vikas, 2001. "Agrarian Reform and Land Markets: A Study of Land Transactions in Two Villages of West Bengal, 1977-1995," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(3), pages 611-629, April.
    15. Besley, Timothy & Pande, Rohini & Leight, Jessica & Rao, Vijayendra, 2011. "The regulation of land markets: evidence from tenancy reform in India," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 58204, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    16. Pranab Bardhan, 2004. "Scarcity, Conflicts, and Cooperation: Essays in the Political and Institutional Economics of Development," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262524295, January.
    17. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jean-Paul Faguet & Fabio Sánchez & Marta-Juanita Villaveces, 2015. "Land Reform, Latifundia and Social Development at Local Level in Colombia, 1961-2010," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 012503, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.
    2. Sonia Bhalotra & Abhishek Chakravarty & Dilip Mookherjee & Francisco J. Pino, "undated". "Property Rights and Gender Bias: Evidence from Land Reform in West Bengal," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-281, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    3. Besley, Timothy & Leight, Jessica & Pande, Rohini & Rao, Vijayendra, 2016. "Long-run impacts of land regulation: Evidence from tenancy reform in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 72-87.
    4. Eve Sihra, 2017. "Consumption, Social Interactions and Preferences," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/1ej8deo44v9, Sciences Po.
    5. Clément Bellet & Eve Sihra, 2016. "Less Food for More Status: Caste Inequality and Conspicuous Consumption in India," Sciences Po publications 56, Sciences Po.
    6. repec:eee:deveco:v:127:y:2017:i:c:p:413-430 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Gani Aldashev & Catherine Guirkinger, 2016. "Colonization and Changing Social Structure: Kazakhstan 1896-1910," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2016-10, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    8. Camila Uribe Mejía, 2014. "Bancarización y Empoderamiento Femenino," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 011001, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    9. repec:eee:regeco:v:69:y:2018:i:c:p:38-47 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Souksavanh VIXATHEP & Phanhpakit ONPHANHDALA & Phaythoune PHOMVIXAY, 2013. "Land Distribution and Rice Sufficiency in Northern Laos," GSICS Working Paper Series 27, Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies, Kobe University.
    11. Clément Bellet, 2017. "Essays on Inequality, Social Preferences and Consumer Behavior," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/vbu6kd1s68o, Sciences Po.
    12. Kurosaki, Takashi & Parinduri, Rasyad & Paul, Saumik, 2016. "Evaluating Efficiency Gains from Tenancy Reform Targeting a Heterogeneous Group of Sharecroppers: Evidence from India," CEI Working Paper Series 2016-10, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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