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How does India's rural roads program affect the grassroots ? findings from a survey in Orissa


  • Bell, Clive
  • van Dillen, Susanne


This paper analyzes the effects of all-weather rural roads on households'net output prices, education and health in a poor, drought-prone region of India. Of 30 villages originally surveyed in 2001-02, when two had such roads, a further nine received them between January 2007 and December 2009 under the program Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. Cross-section comparisons involving all villages and'before and after'comparisons in the nine yielded these findings: (i) net output prices were 5 per cent or more higher; (ii) substantially fewer days of schooling were lost due to bad weather, largely because teachers had fewer absences; (iii) the acutely sick received more timely treatment and were more likely to be treated in a hospital than in the nearest primary health clinic; and (iv) the respondents ranked the resulting benefits in the domains of health and education at least as highly as the'commercial'ones.

Suggested Citation

  • Bell, Clive & van Dillen, Susanne, 2012. "How does India's rural roads program affect the grassroots ? findings from a survey in Orissa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6167, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6167

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Shenggen Fan & Peter Hazell & Sukhadeo Thorat, 2000. "Government Spending, Growth and Poverty in Rural India," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(4), pages 1038-1051.
    2. Binswanger, Hans P. & Khandker, Shahidur R. & Rosenzweig, Mark R., 1993. "How infrastructure and financial institutions affect agricultural output and investment in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 337-366, August.
    3. Shahidur R. Khandker & Zaid Bakht & Gayatri B. Koolwal, 2009. "The Poverty Impact of Rural Roads: Evidence from Bangladesh," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(4), pages 685-722, July.
    4. Jacoby, Hanan G. & Minten, Bart, 2009. "On measuring the benefits of lower transport costs," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 28-38, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Simon D. Ellis & Aurelio Menendez, 2014. "Rural Roads: The Challenge of Decentralized Implementation," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1413, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    2. Martin Wiegand & Eric Koomen & Menno (M.) Pradhan & Christopher Edmonds, 2017. "The Impact of Road Development on Household Welfare in Rural Papua New Guinea," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 17-076/V, Tinbergen Institute.

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    Transport Economics Policy&Planning; Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Social Accountability; Housing&Human Habitats; Disease Control&Prevention;

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