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Evolution of Land Distribution in West Bengal 1967-2004: Role of Land Reform and Demographic Changes

Author

Listed:
  • Pranab Bardhan

    (University of California, Berkeley)

  • Michael Luca

    (Harvard Business School, Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit)

  • Dilip Mookherjee

    (Department of Economics, Boston University)

  • Francisco Pino

    (Université Libre de Bruxelles)

Abstract

This paper studies how land reform and population growth affect land inequality and landlessness, focusing particularly on indirect effects owing to their influence on household divisions and land market transactions. Theoretical predictions of a model of household division and land transactions are successfully tested using household panel data from West Bengal spanning 1967-2004. The tenancy reform lowered inequality through its effects on household divisions and land market transactions, but its effect was quantitatively dominated by inequality-raising effects of population growth. The land distribution program lowered landlessness but this was partly offset by targeting failures and induced increases in immigration.

Suggested Citation

  • Pranab Bardhan & Michael Luca & Dilip Mookherjee & Francisco Pino, 2014. "Evolution of Land Distribution in West Bengal 1967-2004: Role of Land Reform and Demographic Changes," Harvard Business School Working Papers 14-066, Harvard Business School.
  • Handle: RePEc:hbs:wpaper:14-066
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    inequality; land reform; household division; land markets;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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