ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Distributive Impact of Agricultural Growth in Rural West Bengal

This paper explores the impact of spectacular agricultural growth on income distribution in rural West Bengal during the 1980s and early 1990s. It is revealed that during 1983 to 1993-94, when agricultural output in West Bengal was growing at an unprecedented rate, the degree of inequality in the distribution of rural consumption expenditure declined significantly. However, during the later part of the 1990s, when the rate of growth of agricultural output declined substantially, its impact on rural income distribution was reversed, with deceleration in the rate of growth of rural employment and average earning of the agricultural labour households. Thus, income distribution in rural West Bengal favoured the poorer classes of population or marginal and small farmers during the period of impressive agricultural growth. But neither the impressive agricultural growth nor the favourable change in rural income distribution could be sustained in the following period.

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