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Travelling in the social science community: assessing the impact of the Indian Green Revolution across disciplines

  • Peter Howlett
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    The Indian Green Revolution, which began in the late 1960s, offers an exemplary case for studying the nature of evidence and how it travels between academia and the public sphere, between different academic disciplines and over time. Initial assessments of the Green Revolution’s effects were generally positive; yet by the mid-1970s, a more negative view of its impact had come to prominence. By the 1990s this view was, in turn, being displaced by a more optimistic one. The aim of this paper is not to evaluate the impact of the Indian Green Revolution, but rather to examine how the different constituencies of the social science community have communicated with one another on this topic and to examine what facts about it have travelled over time and between the different social science disciplines. By their very nature different social science disciplines are concerned with different aspects of any given issue: an economist might be interested in the impact on output and income over time, whilst a sociologist might be more concerned with the impact new technology has on existing social relations, and a geographer on the use of land and water. Through an in-depth analysis of 76 articles published between 1969 and 2004 in journals covering the range of social science disciplines, this paper shows how (and how well) facts travel between the social sciences.

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    Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History in its series Economic History Working Papers with number 22513.

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    Length: 54 pages
    Date of creation: Feb 2008
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ehl:wpaper:22513
    Contact details of provider: Postal: LSE, Dept. of Economic History Houghton Street London, WC2A 2AE, U.K.
    Phone: +44 (0) 20 7955 7084
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    1. Liebowitz, S J & Palmer, J P, 1984. "Assessing the Relative Impacts of Economic Journals," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 77-88, March.
    2. Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1982. "Educational Subsidy, Agricultural Development, and Fertility Change," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(1), pages 67-88, February.
    3. Rik Pieters & Hans Baumgartner, 2002. "Who Talks to Whom? Intra- and Interdisciplinary Communication of Economics Journals," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 483-509, June.
    4. Mark Rosenzweig & Andrew D. Foster, . "Technical Change and Human Capital Returns and Investments: Evidence from the Green Revolution," Home Pages _065, University of Pennsylvania.
    5. Jere Behrman & Andrew D. Foster & Mark Rosenzweig & Prem Vahsishtha, 1997. "Women's Schooling, Home Teaching, and Economic Growth," Home Pages _071, University of Pennsylvania.
    6. Blyn, George, 1983. "The Green Revolution Revisited," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(4), pages 705-25, July.
    7. Goldman, Abe & Smith, Joyotee, 1995. "Agricultural transformations in India and Northern Nigeria: Exploring the nature of Green Revolutions," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 243-263, February.
    8. Cleaver, Harry M, Jr, 1972. "The Contradictions of the Green Revolution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(2), pages 177-86, May.
    9. Fok, Dennis & Franses, Philip Hans, 2007. "Modeling the diffusion of scientific publications," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 139(2), pages 376-390, August.
    10. Foster, Andrew D. & Rosenzweig, Mark R., 2004. "Technological change and the distribution of schooling: evidence from green-revolution India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 87-111, June.
    11. Foster, Andrew D & Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1995. "Learning by Doing and Learning from Others: Human Capital and Technical Change in Agriculture," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1176-1209, December.
    12. Larson, Donald W. & Jones, Eugene & Pannu, R. S. & Sheokand, R. S., 2004. "Instability in Indian agriculture--a challenge to the Green Revolution technology," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 257-273, June.
    13. Michael Johnson & Peter Hazell & Ashok Gulati, 2003. "The Role of Intermediate Factor Markets in Asia's Green Revolution: Lessons for Africa?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1211-1216.
    14. Daniel B. Klein & Eric Chiang, 2004. "The Social Science Citation Index: A Black Box—with an Ideological Bias?," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 1(1), pages 134-165, April.
    15. Derek Byerlee, 1992. "Technical change, productivity, and sustainability in irrigated cropping systems of South Asia: Emerging issues in the post‐green revolution Era," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 4(5), pages 477-496, 09.
    16. Bryan Boulier & Mark Rosenzweig, 1978. "Age, biological factors, and socioeconomic determinants of fertility: A new measure of cumulative fertility for use in the empirical analysis of family size," Demography, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 487-497, November.
    17. Munshi, Kaivan, 2004. "Social learning in a heterogeneous population: technology diffusion in the Indian Green Revolution," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 185-213, February.
    18. Michael Lipton & Saurabh Sinha & Rachel Blackman, 2002. "Reconnecting Agricultural Technology to Human Development," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(1), pages 123-152.
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