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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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    Cited by:

    1. Dániel Fróna & János Szenderák & Mónika Harangi-Rákos, 2019. "The Challenge of Feeding the World," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(20), pages 1-18, October.
    2. Shyhrete Muriqi & Maria Fekete-Farkas & Zsolt Baranyai, 2019. "Drivers of Cooperation Activity in Kosovo’s Agriculture," Agriculture, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(5), pages 1-12, May.
    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. Xiangyu Wu & Yunlong Ding, 2018. "The Service Supply Effect of Cooperatives under Economic Transformation: A Demand-Supply Perspective," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(9), pages 1-18, August.
    5. Zhang, Xueliang & Hu, Yuqi & Lin, Yongran, 2020. "The influence of highway on local economy: Evidence from China's Yangtze River Delta region," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 82(C).
    6. María Adelaida Ortega, 2018. "Conectando mercados: vías rurales y producción agrícola en el contexto de una economía dual," Documentos CEDE 016818, Universidad de los Andes - CEDE.
    7. 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.
    8. Shahid Hussain & Fangwei Zhu & Zaigham Ali & Xiaohang Xu, 2017. "Rural Residents’ Perception of Construction Project Delays in Pakistan," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(11), pages 1-16, November.
    9. Bird, Julia & Straub, Stéphane, 2020. "The Brasília experiment: The heterogeneous impact of road access on spatial development in Brazil," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 127(C).
    10. 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.

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    Keywords

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

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