What has luck got to do with it? A regional analysis of poverty and agricultural growth in rural India

Richard Palmer-Jones, Kunal Sen

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54 Citations (Scopus)


This article explores the role of agro-ecological factors associated with agricultural growth and poverty outcomes in India. Using a new operationalisation of agro-ecological factors and incorporating within-State variations in poverty and other variables we show that agricultural growth and poverty reduction appear to depend on underlying agro-ecological conditions which are favourable to the spread of irrigation and hence agricultural development, which in turn in associated with poverty reduction. Promotion of agriculture in less favoured areas in unlikely to have similar effects on agriculture in less favoured areas is unlikely to have similar effects on agricultural growth even if the effects of agricultural growth on poverty remain similar, unless conditions for irrigation are favourable or rainfall is sufficiently abundant and reliable. This suggests that considerable caution may be needed in drawing policy conclusions from empirical analysis by state alone, and without regard to their underlying factor endowments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-31
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Development Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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