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Abstract

We used a primary panel survey at the household level conducted in 18 remote natural villages over three waves in China to study how road access shapes farmers’ agricultural production patterns and input uses. Our results show that access to roads is strongly associated with specialization in agricultural production. In natural villages with better road access, farmers plant fewer numbers of crops, purchase more fertilizer, and invest more money on labor hiring. In combination of these factors, road connections improve household agricultural income, and in particular cash income. However, better access to rural roads does not appear to bring about significant changes in non-agricultural income.

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