This paper evaluates the impact of access to groundwater on poverty using data from rural India. The estimation exploits the fact that the technology required to access groundwater changes exogenously due to constraints imposed by laws of physics at a depth of eight meters. I find that rural poverty in areas where depth from surface is below the cutoff is 9 to 10 percent higher. Using survey data for a subsample of villages, I also show that disputes over irrigation water increase by 25 percent around the cutoff. Historical endowments of groundwater facilitate adoption of yield enhancing technologies over the long-run.
"Wells, Water, and Welfare: The Impact of Access to Groundwater on Rural Poverty and Conflict."
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics,
Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances
Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
Economic Development: Agriculture; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Other Primary Products
Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
Economic Development: Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
Agricultural R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services