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Land reforms, poverty reduction, and economic growth : evidence from India

  • Deininger, Klaus
  • Jin, Songqing
  • Nagarajan, Hari K.

Recognition of the importance of institutions that provide security of property rights and relatively equal access to economic resources to a broad cross-section of society has renewed interest in the potential of asset redistribution, including land reforms. Empirical analysis of the impact of such policies is, however, scant and often contradictory. This paper uses panel household data from India, together with state-level variation in the implementation of land reform, to address some of the deficiencies of earlier studies. The results suggest that land reform had a significant and positive impact on income growth and accumulation of human and physical capital. The paper draws policy implications, especially from the fact that the observed impact of land reform seems to have declined over time.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4448.

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Date of creation: 01 Dec 2007
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4448
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  2. Gersbach, Hans & Siemers, Lars, 2005. "Land Reforms and Economic Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 5184, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  6. Guinnane, T.W. & Miller, R.I., 1993. "The Limits to Land Reform: The Land Acts in Ireland, 1870- 1909," Papers 169, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  7. Bardhan, Pranab & Bowles, Samuel & Gintis, Herbert, 2000. "Wealth inequality, wealth constraints and economic performance," Handbook of Income Distribution, in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 541-603 Elsevier.
  8. Bourguignon, F. & Verdier, T., 1997. "Oligarchy, Democracy, Inequality and Growth," DELTA Working Papers 97-10, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  9. Jonathan Conning & James A. Robinson, 2005. "Property Rights and the Political Organization of Agriculture," Economics Working Paper Archive at Hunter College 405, Hunter College Department of Economics.
  10. Carter, Michael R. & Zimmerman, Frederick J., 2000. "The dynamic cost and persistence of asset inequality in an agrarian economy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 265-302, December.
  11. Binswanger, Hans P. & Deininger, Klaus & Feder, Gershon, 1995. "Power, distortions, revolt and reform in agricultural land relations," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 42, pages 2659-2772 Elsevier.
  12. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson, 2004. "Institutions As The Fundamental Cause Of Long-Run Growth," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 002889, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  13. Banerjee, Abhijit V. & Ghatak, Maitreesh, 2004. "Eviction threats and investment incentives," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 469-488, August.
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  15. Benjamin, Dwayne, 1995. "Can unobserved land quality explain the inverse productivity relationship?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 51-84, February.
  16. Deininger, Klaus & Jin, Songqing & Nagarajan, Hari K., 2008. "Efficiency and equity impacts of rural land rental restrictions: Evidence from India," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(5), pages 892-918, July.
  17. Deininger, Klaus & Ali, Daniel Ayalew, 2007. "Do overlapping property rights reduce agricultural investment ? evidence from Uganda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4310, The World Bank.
  18. Chau, Nancy H, 1998. "Land Reforms in the Presence of Monitoring Costs and International Trade," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(4), pages 564-79, November.
  19. Eswaran, Mukesh & Kotwal, Ashok, 1985. "A Theory of Contractual Structure in Agriculture," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 352-67, June.
  20. Robert Eastwood & Johann Kirsten & Michael Lipton, 2006. "Premature deagriculturalisation? Land inequality and rural dependency in Limpopo province, South Africa," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(8), pages 1325-1349.
  21. Dietrich Vollrath, 2007. "Land Distribution and International Agricultural Productivity," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(1), pages 202-216.
  22. Otsuka, Keijiro, 1991. "Determinants and consequences of land reform implementation in the Philippines," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 339-355, April.
  23. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Paul J. Gertler & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2002. "Empowerment and Efficiency: Tenancy Reform in West Bengal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 239-280, April.
  24. Oriana Bandiera, 2003. "Land Reform, the Market for Protection, and the Origins of the Sicilian Mafia: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 218-244, April.
  25. Saturnino Borras, 2005. "Can Redistributive Reform be Achieved via Market-Based Voluntary Land Transfer Schemes? Evidence and Lessons from the Philippines," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(1), pages 90-134.
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