Agriculture in the process of development: A micro-perspective

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This paper compares national-level data from India with 40 years of household panel data from rural India to track sectoral changes in employment and income as well as examine the hypothesis of induced innovation in agricultural production. In the national data, India appears to be in the midst of a structural transformation. The share of agriculture in GDP and employment has shrunk while agricultural output continues to grow. This productivity growth appears to adhere to the induced innovation hypothesis, as productivity per hectare has increased more rapidly than productivity per worker. Many of the same patterns exist in the household data. Tracking households across time, I observe agricultural output has increased, despite more households engaging in off-farm labor. Household agricultural production is highly specialized and has increased its reliance on improved inputs. However, while agricultural income has grown, industrial and service income has remained stagnant, and the relative income of these households has declined in recent years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104888
JournalWorld Development
StatePublished - May 2020


  • Agricultural production
  • India
  • Induced innovation
  • Structural transformation
  • Technical change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics

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