Centre for Development Economics
Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics


Technological change and political mobilization:
Evidence from North India


Nishant Chadha

Shiv Nader University

Thursday, 21st March 2013 at 3:00 PM

Venue : Seminar Room (First Floor)
Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics

All are cordially invited


This paper empirically examines the role played by a technological change in Indian agriculture (adoption of High Yielding Variety [HYV] seeds) in the political mobilization of cultivators in Northern India in 1970s and 1980s. Using panel data from the state of Uttar Pradesh (UP) from 1962-1989, I fi nd that the districts that had the largest impact of the green revolution also had the biggest increase in the vote share of the Bhartiya Lok Dal (BLD), a newly formed peasant party. This change is accompanied by a fall in political fractionalization, even as e ffective political competition increased over the period. I hypothesize that technology adoption consolidates rural votes by aligning the policy preferences of previously disparate rural groups. Examination of public good provision shows that an increase in the vote share of the BLD in a district is associated with an increase in the proportion of villages in the district that have a school (at all levels).


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