Contrary to theories emphasising the importance of asset ownership for helping the rural poor out of poverty, a study by A. Nilesh Fernando at Harvard shows that in India, inheriting agricultural land can both restrict migration to urban areas (-0.02pc per acre) and reduce the likelihood of taking up nonagricultural work in rural areas (-1.8pc per acre). The effect of inheriting an additional acre is 10 times as large (-3.4pc per acre for migration; -21pc per acre for nonagricultural occupations) for those born into families with relatively small landholdings (less than three acres). Because selling, renting or leaving behind assets is restricted by cultural obligations — in this case, Hindu custom requires that the eldest son in the family support his parents in their old age, which often results in occupational succession — inheriting land can limit mobility for the poor, specifically firstborn sons.

(Source: Harvard)

Published in Dawn, Business & Finance weekly, February 22nd, 2016

Opinion

Editorial

Mianwali raid
Updated 02 Feb, 2023

Mianwali raid

The military needs to share intelligence with civilian agencies to neutralise the militant menace nationwide.
Corruption unlimited
02 Feb, 2023

Corruption unlimited

PAKISTAN’S consistent slide on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index over the last several...
Women police officers
02 Feb, 2023

Women police officers

IN a heartening development, a second female police officer has been appointed as DPO in Attock, weeks after the...
Road to perdition
Updated 01 Feb, 2023

Road to perdition

This is also the time of reckoning for those who sowed the seeds of a disastrous policy against militants.
Transport tragedies
01 Feb, 2023

Transport tragedies

TWO tragedies over the weekend illustrate the weak protocols governing the safety of transport in Pakistan. In fact,...
Disqualifying Jam Awais
01 Feb, 2023

Disqualifying Jam Awais

IT appears that there may be some kind of small punishment after all for PPP lawmaker Jam Awais, who was pardoned ...