Evolution of Land Distribution in West Bengal 1967-2004: Role of Land Reform and Demographic Changes

58 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2014

See all articles by Pranab Bardhan

Pranab Bardhan

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics

Michael Luca

Harvard University - Business School (HBS)

Dilip Mookherjee

Boston University - Department of Economics

Francisco Pino

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES)

Date Written: January 20, 2014

Abstract

This paper studies how land reform and population growth affect land inequality and landlessness, focusing particularly on indirect effects owing to their influence on household divisions and land market transactions. Theoretical predictions of a model of household division and land transactions are successfully tested using household panel data from West Bengal spanning 1967-2004. The tenancy reform lowered inequality through its effects on household divisions and land market transactions, but its effect was quantitatively dominated by inequality-raising effects of population growth. The land distribution program lowered landlessness but this was partly offset by targeting failures and induced increases in immigration.

Keywords: inequality, land reform, household division, land markets

JEL Classification: J12, O13, O13

Suggested Citation

Bardhan, Pranab and Luca, Michael and Mookherjee, Dilip and Pino, Francisco, Evolution of Land Distribution in West Bengal 1967-2004: Role of Land Reform and Demographic Changes (January 20, 2014). Harvard Business School NOM Unit Working Paper No. 14-066. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2388801 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2388801

Pranab Bardhan

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics ( email )

549 Evans Hall #3880
Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
United States

Michael Luca (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Business School (HBS) ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Boston, MA 02163
United States

HOME PAGE: http://drfd.hbs.edu/fit/public/facultyInfo.do?facInfo=ovr&facId=602417

Dilip Mookherjee

Boston University - Department of Economics ( email )

270 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02215
United States
617-353-4392 (Phone)
617-353-4143 (Fax)

Francisco Pino

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES) ( email )

Ave. Franklin D Roosevelt, 50 - C.P. 114
Brussels, B-1050
Belgium

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