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Education spillovers in farm productivity: empirical evidence in rural India

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  • Gille, Véronique

Abstract

Empirical evidence of education spillovers in developing countries and rural contexts is scarce and focuses on specific channels. This paper provides evidence of such spillovers in rural India, by evaluating the overall impact of education of neighbors on farm productivity. We use cross-sectional data from the India Human Development Survey of 2005. Spatial econometric tools are used to take into account social distance between neighbors. To be sure that our definition of the neighborhood does not drive our results, we test three different definitions of neighbors. Our results show that education spillovers are substantial: one additional year in the mean level of education of neighbors increases households' farm productivity by 3%. These findings are robust to changes in specification and open the way to further research. In particular, the paper does not explore the channels through which this spillover effect happens. This paper confirms the choice of improving education in developing countries: giving a child education will certainly provide him greater revenues but it may also provide his neighbors greater revenues. It also shows the importance for policy makers of taking into account education spillovers and policies' complementarity when facing political trade-offs. This paper is one of the few to underline that education externalities do not only exist in urban contexts and that education spillovers do not only occur between workers of the manufacturing and service sectors. There are also spillovers in sectors considered as more traditional such as agriculture.

Suggested Citation

  • Gille, Véronique, 2011. "Education spillovers in farm productivity: empirical evidence in rural India," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 31, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:gdec11:31
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Charles F. Manski, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 531-542.
    2. Michael Kremer, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-575.
    3. Simon Appleton & Arsene Balihuta, 1996. "Education and agricultural productivity: Evidence from Uganda," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(3), pages 415-444.
    4. Sharada Weir & John Knight, 2007. "Production Externalities of Education: Evidence from Rural Ethiopia," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 16(1), pages 134-165, January.
    5. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Stark, Oded, 1989. "Consumption Smoothing, Migration, and Marriage: Evidence from Rural India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 905-926, August.
    6. Dominique Goux & Eric Maurin, 2007. "Close Neighbours Matter: Neighbourhood Effects on Early Performance at School," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(523), pages 1193-1215, October.
    7. George Psacharopoulos & Harry Anthony Patrinos, 2004. "Returns to investment in education: a further update," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 111-134.
    8. Munshi, Kaivan, 2004. "Social learning in a heterogeneous population: technology diffusion in the Indian Green Revolution," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 185-213, February.
    9. LE GALLO, Julie, 2000. "Econométrie spatiale 1 -Autocorrélation spatiale," LATEC - Document de travail - Economie (1991-2003) 2000-05, LATEC, Laboratoire d'Analyse et des Techniques EConomiques, CNRS UMR 5118, Université de Bourgogne.
    10. Simon Appleton & Arsene Balihuta, 1996. "Education and agricultural productivity: Evidence from Uganda," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(3), pages 415-444.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Education externalities; Rural India; Farm productivity;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets

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