IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Are returns to public investment lower in less-favored rural areas?: an empirical analysis of India

  • Fan, Shenggen
  • Hazell, P. B. R.

Developing countries allocate scarce government funds to investments in rural areas to achieve the twin goals of agricultural growth and poverty alleviation. Choices have to be made between different types of investments, especially infrastructure, human capital and agricultural research, and between different types of agricultural regions, e.g., irrigated and high- and low-potential rainfed areas. This paper develops an econometric approach and provides empirical evidence on the impact of government investments in rural India using district-level data. While irrigated areas played a key role in agricultural growth during the Green Revolution era, our results show that it is now the rainfed areas, including many less-favored areas that offer the most growth for an additional unit of investment. Moreover, investments in rainfed areas have a much larger impact on poverty alleviation, making this a win-win development strategy. These results have important policy implications, and challenge conventional thinking that public investments in rural India should always be targeted to irrigated and other high-potential areas.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series EPTD discussion papers with number 43.

in new window

Date of creation: 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fpr:eptddp:43
Contact details of provider: Postal: 2033 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Phone: 202-862-5600
Fax: 202-467-4439
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Ravallion, Martin & Datt, Gaurav, 1995. "Growth and poverty in rural India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1405, The World Bank.
  2. Shenggen Fan & Peter Hazell & Sukhadeo Thorat, 2000. "Government Spending, Growth and Poverty in Rural India," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(4), pages 1038-1051.
  3. Lau, Lawrence J, 1979. "On Exact Index Numbers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 61(1), pages 73-82, February.
  4. Gaurav Datt & Martin Ravallion, 1998. "Farm productivity and rural poverty in India," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(4), pages 62-85.
  5. Foster, Andrew D & Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1996. "Technical Change and Human-Capital Returns and Investments: Evidence from the Green Revolution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 931-53, September.
  6. Trudy Owens & John Hoddinott, 1999. "Investing in development or investing in relief: Quantifying the poverty tradeoffs using Zimbabwe household panel data," CSAE Working Paper Series 1999-04, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  7. Ghose, A K, 1989. "Rural Poverty and Relative Prices in India," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(2), pages 307-31, June.
  8. Mukhopadhyay, Sudhin K, 1994. "Adapting Household Behavior to Agricultural Technology in West Bengal, India: Wage Labor, Fertility, and Child Schooling Determinants," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(1), pages 91-115, October.
  9. Scherr, Sara J. & Hazell, P. B. R., 1994. "Sustainable agricultural development strategies in fragile lands:," EPTD discussion papers 1, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  10. Binswanger, Hans P. & Khandker, Shahidur R. & Rosenzweig, Mark R., 1993. "How infrastructure and financial institutions affect agricultural output and investment in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 337-366, August.
  11. Bell, Clive & Rich, Robert, 1994. "Rural Poverty and Aggregate Agricultural Performance in Post-independence India," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 56(2), pages 111-33, May.
  12. Diewert, W. E., 1976. "Exact and superlative index numbers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 115-145, May.
  13. Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1997. "Why have some Indian states performed better than others at reducing rural poverty?," FCND discussion papers 26, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fpr:eptddp:43. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.