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Continued Existence of Cows Disproves Central Tenets of Capitalism?

Santosh Anagol, Alvin Etang and Dean Karlan ()

Economic Development and Cultural Change, 2017, vol. 65, issue 4, 583 - 618

Abstract: We examine the returns from owning cows and buffaloes in rural India. With labor valued at market wages, households earn large, negative median annual returns from holding cows and buffaloes, at −293% and −65%, respectively. Making the stark assumption of labor valued at zero, median returns are then −7% for cows and +17% for buffaloes (with 51% and 45% of households earning negative returns for cows and buffaloes, respectively). Why do households continue to invest in livestock if economic returns are negative, or are these estimates wrong? We discuss reasons why we may be underestimating returns and also, if the estimates are accurate, reasons why labor and milk market failures and social norms may still lead to persistent livestock investments.

Date: 2017
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Related works:
Working Paper: Continued Existence of Cows Disproves Central Tenets of Capitalism? (2014) Downloads
Working Paper: Continued Existence of Cows Disproves Central Tenets of Capitalism? (2014) Downloads
Working Paper: Continued Existence of Cows Disproves Central Tenets of Capitalism? (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: Continued Existence ofr Cows Disproves Central Tenets of Capitalism? (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: Continued Existence of Cows Disproves Central Tenets of Capitalism? (2013) Downloads
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