Land Reform and Agricultural Productivity in India: A Review of the Evidence
Posted: 25 Jun 2008
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
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