Land Reform and Agricultural Productivity in India: A Review of the Evidence

Posted: 25 Jun 2008

See all articles by Maitreesh Ghatak

Maitreesh Ghatak

London School of Economics (LSE) - Department of Economics

Sanchari Roy

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Abstract

In this paper we review as well as contribute to the empirical literature on the impact of land reform on agricultural productivity in India. We find that, overall for all states, land-reform legislation had a negative and significant effect on agricultural productivity. However, this hides considerable variation across types of land reform, as well as variation across states. Decomposing by type of land reform, the main driver for this negative effect seems to be land-ceiling legislation. In contrast, the effect of tenancy reform, averaged across all states, is insignificant. There seems to be a wide range of state-specific effects, which suggests that focusing on average treatment effects can hide a considerable amount of heterogeneity. In particular, allowing a separate slope for West Bengal, one of the few states that implemented tenancy laws rigorously, we find that land reform had a marginal positive effect relative to the rest of India.

Keywords: agricultural productivity, land reform, West Bengal

JEL Classification: O4, Q1

Suggested Citation

Ghatak, Maitreesh and Roy, Sanchari, Land Reform and Agricultural Productivity in India: A Review of the Evidence. Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Vol. 23, No. 2, pp. 251-269, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1151129 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxrep/grm017

Maitreesh Ghatak (Contact Author)

London School of Economics (LSE) - Department of Economics ( email )

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London WC2A 2AE
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HOME PAGE: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/dps/adds/ghatak/cv-lse-sept02.pdf

Sanchari Roy

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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