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