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Inequality, poverty and mobility: The experience of a North Indian village.

Lanjouw, Peter Frederik (1992) Inequality, poverty and mobility: The experience of a North Indian village. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis analyzes data collected from four surveys conducted bewteen 1957 and 1984 in Palanpur, a village located in Moradabad District of Uttar Pradesh, India. It considers the evolution of inequality, poverty and economic mobility in Palanpur. The working of the credit market is also scrutinized. The influences on the distribution of income and land of agricultural intensification (the "Green Revolution") and off-farm employment are examined. The use of income as an indicator of living standards is evaluated and compared with a more broad measure of prosperity. Various correlates of poverty are assessed and the incidence of poverty among agricultural labour and low caste households is found to be high. A unified framework for the analysis of inequality, poverty and welfare, following the stochastic dominance approach, is applied to the data. Across a broad range of measures, the 1974/75 survey year shows less poverty, higher welfare and lower inequality. The four survey years may be divided into one pre-Green Revolution and one post-Green revolution pair. On this basis, there is some evidence that living standards have risen between the earlier and later pair of years. Within each pair, however, living standards in the later year tend to be lower. This is partly due to the effect of poor harvests. Mobility in Palanpur appears high if we look at current incomes, suggesting that poverty in the village may not be long-term. However, among poor agricultural labour households occupational mobility is low. Moreover, the income mobility among these households is largely transitory and hence poverty for this group may be regarded as sustained. Credit market operations in Palanpur between 1974/75 and 1983/84 are examined. Credit rationing is widespread and in this segmented market there is evidence that poor households are able to smooth consumption only by borrowing at a high (and rising) cost.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sociology, Social Structure and Development, South Asian Studies
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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