Land and Equity in Economic Development: Some Under-studied Issues


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  • Speaker: Pranab Bardhan, Department of Economics, University of California, Berkeley
  • Host Department: Center for South Asian Studies (CSAS)
  • Date: 04/18/2014
  • Time: 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

  • Location: 1636 SSWB

  • Description:

    Even though land equity issues (for example, those relating to land reform)  have been studied for decades, if not for centuries, there are many aspects on which our empirical knowledge is still scanty. Drawing upon a large-scale disaggregated farm-level survey in West Bengal, I'll show some of the spillover (or general-equilibrium) effects of land reform that may be more important than the standard effects. Similarly, from a detailed land history dataset I intend to show that in the evolution of land inequality demographic and market effects may be more important than the standard land reform effects. I shall also touch upon issues of gender equity in land distribution. Finally, I shall comment on the issue of inter-sectoral equity relating to land, where agitations around land acquisition for non-agricultural purpose have led to a great deal of political unrest in India and elsewhere.

    Pranab Bardhan is Professor of Graduate School at the Department of Economics, University of California, Berkeley. Educated in Presidency College, Calcutta and Cambridge University, UK, he has been at the faculty at MIT, Delhi School of Economics, and Indian Statistical Institute, before coming to Berkeley. He has been a visiting professor at London School of Economics, Trinity College, Cambridge, and University of Siena, Italy. He was the Chief Editor of the Journal of Development Economics for 1985-2003. His research interests include political economy and institutional economics of development, agrarian institutions in India, and issues of international trade and globalization. A part of his work is in the interdisciplinary area of economics, political science and social anthropology. He has authored 13 books (including Awakening Giants, Feet of Clay: Assessing the Economic Rise of China and India, and Scarcity, Conflicts, and Cooperation) and more than 150 journal articles, and  edited 12 books (including Globalization and Egalitarian Redistribution, and Conversations between Economists and Anthropologists).

    This program is organized by the Center for South Asian Studies with support from the U-M LSA Theme Semester and co-sponsored by the Economics Department, Ford School of Public Policy, the Ross School of Business, and the Economic Development Seminar.