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

Another U-turn?
Updated 07 Oct, 2022

Another U-turn?

The PTI’s decision to take back its resignations could herald a twist in the tussle playing out in Islamabad.
Renewed TTP threat
07 Oct, 2022

Renewed TTP threat

THE interior ministry’s call for ‘extreme vigilance’ and instructions to security forces to conduct ‘search...
Women’s gala in GB
07 Oct, 2022

Women’s gala in GB

REGRESSIVE forces, once again, nearly had their way — this time in Gilgit-Baltistan. A three-day sporting gala for...
‘Draconian’ law
06 Oct, 2022

‘Draconian’ law

THE debate over what it means to be ‘sadiq’ and ‘ameen’ has reignited after the incumbent Supreme Court ...
Welcome clarity
Updated 06 Oct, 2022

Welcome clarity

There needs to be consensus amongst all political actors that matters of governance should be the exclusive domain of civilians.
Car purchases
06 Oct, 2022

Car purchases

IF we are in the market to buy a new car, we end up paying a significantly large amount as premium over the sticker...