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The road to specialization in agricultural production:: Evidence from rural China

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  • Qin, Yu
  • Zhang, Xiaobo

Abstract

Because many rural poor live in areas far away from markets, we investigate whether better road access could help improve their livelihood and reduce rural poverty. We use three waves of a primary panel survey at the household level conducted in 18 remote natural villages in China to study how road access shapes farmers’ agricultural production patterns and input uses and affects rural poverty. Our results show that access to roads is strongly associated with specialization in agricultural production. In natural villages with better road access, farmers plant fewer numbers of crops, purchase more fertilizer, and invest more money in labor. In combination with such factors, road connections improve household agricultural income—in particular, cash income—and contribute to poverty reduction in the surveyed villages. However, better access to rural roads does not appear to bring about significant changes in nonagricultural income.

Suggested Citation

  • Qin, Yu & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2012. "The road to specialization in agricultural production:: Evidence from rural China," IFPRI discussion papers 1221, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:1221
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    1. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:11:p:2108-:d:119535 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Michler, Jeffrey D. & Josephson, Anna L., 2017. "To Specialize or Diversify: Agricultural Diversity and Poverty Dynamics in Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 214-226.
    3. Wang, Xiaobing & Huang, Jikun & Rozelle, Scott, 2017. "Off-farm employment and agricultural specialization in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 155-165.
    4. Yu Qin, 2016. "China's Transport Infrastructure Investment: Past, Present, and Future," Asian Economic Policy Review, Japan Center for Economic Research, vol. 11(2), pages 199-217, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    roads; Agricultural specialization; Input use; rural areas; Rural poor; Household income; Household surveys; Poverty reduction;

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