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Working paper 700

Nicholas Li, "In-kind transfers, marketization costs and household specialization: Evidence from Indian farmers", 2021-06-25
Main Text (application/pdf) (1,448,110 bytes)

Abstract: I examine the effect of in-kind staple transfers on agricultural production in
a setting where transactions with markets are costly for households and result in
interlinked consumption and production decisions. I leverage the expansion of
India’s Public Distribution system between 1993-2009 as a natural experiment
generating variation in the quantity and value of staple grains transferred to
households and districts. I find that larger PDS quantities are associated with
modest decreases in staple production and farming and modest increases in market/
comparative advantage oriented specialization. The effects are larger for households
and districts with higher market transaction costs or less market-oriented

Keywords: agriculture; production; India; food; Public Distribution System; in-kind transfers

JEL Classification: O20; Q18