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Rural roads and local economic development


  • Asher,Samuel Edward
  • Novosad,Paul Michael


Nearly one billion people worldwide live in rural areas without access to the paved road network. This paper measures the impacts of India's $40 billion national rural road construction program using regression discontinuity and data covering every individual and firm in rural India. The main effect of new feeder roads is to allow workers to obtain nonfarm work. However, there are no major changes in consumption, assets or agricultural outcomes. Nonfarm employment in the village expands only slightly, suggesting the new work is found outside of the village. Even with better market connections, remote areas may continue to lack economic opportunities.

Suggested Citation

  • Asher,Samuel Edward & Novosad,Paul Michael, 2018. "Rural roads and local economic development," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8466, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:8466

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    Cited by:

    1. Apoorv Gupta & Jacopo Ponticelli & Andrea Tesei, 2019. "Technology Adoption and Access to Credit via Mobile Phones," Working Papers 892, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    2. Ferreira, Francisco H. G. & Galasso, Emanuela & Negre, Mario, 2018. "Shared Prosperity: Concepts, Data, and Some Policy Examples," IZA Discussion Papers 11571, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Pranab Bardhan & Sandip Mitra & Dilip Mookherjee & Anusha Nath, 2018. "Resource Transfers to Local Governments: Political Manipulation and Household Responses in West Bengal," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-319, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    4. Sumit Agarwal & Abhiroop Mukherjee & S Lakshmi Naaraayanan, 2019. "Roads and Loans," HKUST IEMS Working Paper Series 2019-61, HKUST Institute for Emerging Market Studies, revised May 2019.
    5. Blankespoor,Brian & Emran,M. Shahe & Shilpi,Forhad J. & Xu,Lu - DECEE, 2018. "Bridge to bigpush or backwash ? market integration, reallocation, and productivity effects of Jamuna bridge in Bangladesh," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8508, The World Bank.
    6. Silvia Marchesi & Tania Masi, 2019. "Allocation of Implementing Power: Evidence from World Bank Projects," Development Working Papers 447, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano, revised 18 Mar 2019.
    7. Apoorv Gupta & Jacopo Ponticelli & Andrea Tesei, 2019. "Technology Adoption and Access to Credit via Mobile Phones," Working Papers 892, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.


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