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Long-run impacts of land regulation: evidence from tenancy reform in India

Timothy Besley, Jessica Leight, Rohini Pande and Vijayendra Rao

LSE Research Online Documents on Economics from London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library

Abstract: Agricultural tenancy reforms have been widely enacted, but evidence on their long-run impact remains limited. In this paper, we provide such evidence by exploiting the quasi-random assignment of linguistically similar areas to different South Indian states that subsequently varied in tenancy regulation policies. Given imperfect credit markets, the impact of tenancy reform should vary by household wealth status, allowing us to exploit historic caste-based variation in landownership. Thirty years after the reforms, land inequality is lower in areas that saw greater intensity of tenancy reform, but the impact differs across caste groups. Tenancy reforms increase own cultivation among middle-caste households, but render low-caste households more likely to work as daily agricultural laborers. At the same time, agricultural wages increase. These results are consistent with tenancy regulations increasing land sales to relatively richer and more productive middle-caste tenants, but reducing land access for poorer low-caste tenants.

Keywords: land reform; inequality; long-run impact of institutions (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O12 O13 Q15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016-01-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-ltv and nep-res
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (18)

Published in Journal of Development Economics, 1, January, 2016, 118, pp. 72-87. ISSN: 0304-3878

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/65333/ Open access version. (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: Long-run impacts of land regulation: Evidence from tenancy reform in India (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Long-Run Impacts of Land Regulation: Evidence from Tenancy Reform in India (2015) Downloads
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