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Long-Run Impacts of Land Regulation: Evidence from Tenancy Reform in India

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  • Besley, Timothy J.
  • Leight, Jessica
  • Pande, Rohini
  • Rao, Vijayendra

Abstract

Agricultural tenancy reforms have been widely enacted, but evidence on their long-run impact remains limited. In this paper, we provide such evidence by exploiting the quasi-random assignment of linguistically similar areas to different South Indian states that subsequently varied in tenancy regulation policies. Given imperfect credit markets, the impact of tenancy reform should vary by household wealth status, allowing us to exploit historic caste-based variation in landownership. Thirty years after the reforms, land inequality is lower in areas that saw greater intensity of tenancy reform, but the impact differs across caste groups. Tenancy reforms increase own-cultivation among middle-caste households, but render low-caste households more likely to work as daily agricultural laborers. At the same time, agricultural wages increase. These results are consistent with tenancy regulations increasing land sales to relatively richer and more productive middle-caste tenants, but reducing land access for poorer low-caste tenants.

Suggested Citation

  • Besley, Timothy J. & Leight, Jessica & Pande, Rohini & Rao, Vijayendra, 2015. "Long-Run Impacts of Land Regulation: Evidence from Tenancy Reform in India," CEPR Discussion Papers 10780, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:10780
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    1. Long-run impacts of land regulation: evidence from tenancy reform in India
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2018-02-20 19:17:49

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    4. Sonia Bhalotra & Abhishek Chakravarty & Dilip Mookherjee & Francisco J. Pino, 2019. "Property Rights and Gender Bias: Evidence from Land Reform in West Bengal," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 205-237, April.
    5. Klaus Deininger & Songqing Jin & Yanyan Liu & Sudhir K Singh, 2016. "Can Labor Market Imperfections Explain Changes in the Inverse Farm Size–Productivity Relationship? Longitudinal Evidence from Rural India," Working Papers id:10987, eSocialSciences.
    6. Klaus Deininger & Songqing Jin & Yanyan Liu & Sudhir K. Singh, 2018. "Can Labor-Market Imperfections Explain Changes in the Inverse Farm Size–Productivity Relationship? Longitudinal Evidence from Rural India," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 94(2), pages 239-258.
    7. Jean-Paul Faguet & Fabio Sánchez & Marta-Juanita Villaveces, 2015. "Land Reform, Latifundia and Social Development at Local Level in Colombia, 1961-2010," Documentos CEDE 012569, Universidad de los Andes - CEDE.
    8. Marijn A. Bolhuis & Swapnika R. Rachapalli & Diego Restuccia, 2021. "Misallocation in Indian Agriculture," NBER Working Papers 29363, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Nida Akram & Muhammad Waqar Akram & Hongshu Wang & Ayesha Mehmood, 2019. "Does Land Tenure Systems Affect Sustainable Agricultural Development?," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(14), pages 1-15, July.
    10. Miesha J. Williams, 2017. "Discounted Agricultural Growth in South Africa," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 44(3), pages 353-362, December.
    11. Kualwik, Jacek, 2016. "Selected problems of farmland valuation and setting rents for its lease," Problems of Agricultural Economics / Zagadnienia Ekonomiki Rolnej 252639, Institute of Agricultural and Food Economics - National Research Institute (IAFE-NRI).
    12. Boberg-Fazlić, Nina & Lampe, Markus & Martinelli Lasheras, Pablo & Sharp, Paul, 2022. "Winners and losers from agrarian reform: Evidence from Danish land inequality 1682–1895," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 155(C).
    13. Fitz, Dylan, 2018. "Evaluating the impact of market-assisted land reform in Brazil," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 255-267.
    14. Serene Ho & Pranab R. Choudhury & Nivedita Haran & Rebecca Leshinsky, 2021. "Decentralization as a Strategy to Scale Fit-for-Purpose Land Administration: An Indian Perspective on Institutional Challenges," Land, MDPI, vol. 10(2), pages 1-18, February.
    15. Jianying Wang & Yumei Xu & Lilin Zou & Ying Wang, 2021. "Does Culture Affect Farmer Willingness to Transfer Rural Land? Evidence from Southern Fujian, China," Land, MDPI, vol. 10(6), pages 1-19, June.
    16. Camila Uribe Mejía, 2014. "Bancarización y Empoderamiento Femenino," Documentos CEDE 011001, Universidad de los Andes - CEDE.
    17. Albertus, Michael & Espinoza, Mauricio & Fort, Ricardo, 2020. "Land reform and human capital development: Evidence from Peru," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 147(C).
    18. IFPRI International Food Policy Research Institute, 2016. "Can Labour Market Imperfections Explain Changes in the Inverse Farm Size-Productivity Relationship?: Longitudinal Evidence from Rural India," Working Papers id:11007, eSocialSciences.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    inequality; Land reform; long-run impact of institutions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment

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