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Size-class and returns to cultivation in India: A Cold case reopened

  • Sarthak Gaurav

    ()

    (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research)

  • Srijit Mishra

    ()

    (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research)

This paper investigates the relationship between returns to cultivation per hectare and size-class of land cultivated in India, using unit level data from the 59th round National Sample Survey, 2003. The analysis is done separately for `kharif' and `rabi' - for total value of cultivation from all crops at the all India level. The empirical evidence rejects the null hypothesis of no relationship and points to the existence of an inverse association. We argue that the efficiency of the small-holders has to be taken with a pinch of salt because their low absolute returns brings into focus the question of their livelihood sustainability which is further aggravated on account of higher unit costs. Being the first exercise in a series of proposed explorations into disaggregated analyses across states, and for specific crops, it opens up the classic debate on farm size and productivity in the 21st century.

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Paper provided by Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India in its series Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers with number 2011-027.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ind:igiwpp:2011-027
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  1. Bhalla, Surjit S., 1988. "Does land quality matter? : Theory and measurement," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 45-62, July.
  2. Cornia, Giovanni Andrea, 1985. "Farm size, land yields and the agricultural production function: An analysis for fifteen developing countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 513-534, April.
  3. Feder, Gershon, 1985. "The relation between farm size and farm productivity : The role of family labor, supervision and credit constraints," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2-3), pages 297-313, August.
  4. Singh, Ashish, 2010. "Does returns to farming depend on Caste? New evidence from India," MPRA Paper 26526, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Eswaran, Mukesh & Kotwal, Ashok, 1986. "Access to Capital and Agrarian Production Organisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(382), pages 482-98, June.
  6. Desai, Sonalde & Dubey, Amaresh & Joshi, Brij Lal & Sen, Mitali & Sharif, Abusaleh & Vanneman, Reeve, 2010. "Human Development in India: Challenges for a Society in Transition," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198065128, March.
  7. Barrett, Christopher B., 1996. "On price risk and the inverse farm size-productivity relationship," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 193-215, December.
  8. Benjamin, Dwayne, 1995. "Can unobserved land quality explain the inverse productivity relationship?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 51-84, February.
  9. Reddy, D. Narasimha & Mishra, Srijit (ed.), 2009. "Agrarian Crisis in India," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195695953, March.
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