System of Promoting Appropriate National Dynamism
for Agriculture and Nutrition


How Does Poverty Decline? Suggestive Evidence from India, 1983-1999

Publisher: BREAD

The economic processes by which productivity growth in agriculture and non-agriculture matter to the poor in India are investigated here. Poverty is measured by the wage rate of agricultural labor—a variable that is highly correlated with head-count measures. The paper sets up a theoretical model to contrast the effects of productivity increase in the farm and non-farm sectors. The effects depend on whether the region under consideration is a closed or an open economy. Drawing on the theoretical model, the paper undertakes a counterfactual exercise to estimate the relative contribution of the non-farm sector to the increase in the agricultural wage earnings during the period 1983- 1999. The contribution is found to be no more than a quarter of the observed wage earnings. The extension of this methodology to individual states requires the assumption that agricultural productivity growth leads to a net increase in non-farm employment. The paper presents econometric evidence in support of this assumption.

Author(s): Mukesh Eswaran, Ashok Kotwal, Bharat Ramaswami, Wilima Wadhwa | Views(536) | Download (195)

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