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Back to the Plough: Women Managers and Farm Productivity in India

K. Mahajan

No 277234, 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia from International Association of Agricultural Economists

Abstract: In India the role of women as farm managers has been veiled behind the image of men as primary decision makers on farms. Data shows that approximately 8% of farm households had women farm managers in India in 2004 and this number increased to 11% in 2011. This rising phenomenon of farm management by women begets an in depth understanding of these farms, including, differentials in productivity levels across men and women managed farms. This paper uses three measures to capture productivity production value, profit value and crop specific yields. The results show that production value is lower by approximately 7% in women managed farms even with all controls. The difference in profitability is of the same magnitude, albeit, insignificant. There are two possible channels behind the result unobservable soil quality or differences in managerial efficiency as a result of inexperience. While we cannot test explicitly for the first channel, the paper provides suggestive evidence on the second channel using crop specific yields. This study makes two contributions to the literature one, it is the first study in the Indian context and second, it employs semi-parametric decomposition techniques to look at the productivity differentials along the entire distribution. Acknowledgement : I would like to thank Bharat Ramaswami, Bina Agarwal for useful discussions and the participants at the third CECFEE workshop held in India for their valuable comments.

Keywords: Labor; and; Human; Capital (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev and nep-eff
Date: 2018-07
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