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Accueil du site → Doctorat → États-Unis → 1988 → Production and distribution in a dry land village economy in the West Indian Deccan

University of California, Berkeley (1988)

Production and distribution in a dry land village economy in the West Indian Deccan

Subramanian, Shankar

Titre : Production and distribution in a dry land village economy in the West Indian Deccan

Auteur : Subramanian, Shankar

Université de soutenance : University of California, Berkeley

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 1988

This study examines the special problems of agricultural development in India’s semi-arid tropics, a region of rain-fed agriculture and unstable and near-stagnant crop yields. These characteristics hinder technical innovation and support institutions, like sharecropping, that may profoundly affect the distribution of gains from growth. This study addresses the need for ( technical. and institutional change for equitable development. A social accounting matrix (SAM) model is developed to analyze the village-level effects of such changes as increased irrigation, limited mechanization and intensified dairy production. Next, this study analyzes the interlinking of sharecropping and credit, a common institution that is viewed both as mitigating risk and as hindering the spread of improved techniques.
Since the standard SAM model unrealistically assumes that agricultural output is demand-determined, it is modified to accommodate supply-constrained activities. Some findings and their policy implications are as follows.
a) The income distribution effects of a fall in harvests depends on the output elasticity of pre-harvest costs and on external labor demand. Wage labor is the mainstay of the landless and small and medium farmers, and women’s wage share is high ; hence relief programs giving jobs to men and women can effectively stabilize the poor’s incomes.
b) Although limited by ground water scarcity, investment in well irrigation is effective in boosting output and incomes due to its high rate of return of 13.9% and strong multiplier effects from agriculture.
c) Investment in milk production has a high rate of return but leads to greater inequality due to landless households’ small share in it. Since the milk cooperative finances part of this investment, it can allocate more funds to this group to raise its share.
In the sharecropping models of Braverman and Stiglitz (1982) and Mitra (1983) tenants cannot work off the plot for wages and the landlord sets both interest rate and loan amount. Weakening these key assumptions can overturn one of their major results, i.e., landlords can keep tenants at reservation utility even if the state intervenes in one market. To the contrary, the state can raise tenants above reservation utility by providing access to wage employment or to organized credit markets. The landlord’s optimal interest rate can also be higher or lower than his cost of capital, in contrast to Gangopadhyay and Sengupta’s (1986) finding that the landlord always charges a lower rate.

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