Do rural roads create pathways out of poverty? Evidence from India

Aggarwal, S (2018) Do rural roads create pathways out of poverty? Evidence from India. Journal of Development Economics, 133. 375 - 395.

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Nearly a third of the world's rural population does not live near a paved road, and it is widely believed that this limits their access to economic opportunities. Using a natural experiment that led to plausibly exogenous variation in the timing and placement of paved roads in Indian villages, this paper provides evidence on the impact of roads on a wide variety of economic outcomes in rural areas. I find evidence consistent with 5 main effects in the village economy. Households in treatment areas report (a) lower prices and (b) increased availability of non-local goods, suggesting greater market integration. Reduced-form evidence suggests that changes in market access caused rural households to (c) increase the use of agricultural technologies, and (d) pull teenaged members out of school to join the labor force. Finally, evidence points to (e) enrollment gains for younger children.

Affiliation: Indian School of Business
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ISB Creators
Aggarwal, S
Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Roads, Market integration, Technology adoption, School enrollment, Consumption variety
Subjects: Economics
Socio Political System
Depositing User: Veeramani R
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2018 05:06
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2018 05:06
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