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Abstract

Land reforms in India were aimed at securing access to land for poor rural households. We use data from West Bengal to highlight the impact of the state’s 1978 land reform program on human capital accumulation within the beneficiary households. The results from the study indicate that reform positively impacted the decision to invest in education. We ascertain a highly significant positive effect on long-term accumulation of human capital, and find that the size of benefit was modest in first generation and much larger for second generation beneficiaries. The second generation also does not have a gender bias, allowing women to catch up in their levels of education.

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