Wells, Water, and Welfare: The Impact of Access to Groundwater on Rural Poverty and Conflict

Sheetal Sekhri
2014 American Economic Journal: Applied Economics  
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 to10 percent higher. Using survey data for a subsample of villages, I also show that disputes over irrigation water increase by 25 percent
more » ... round the cutoff. Historical endowments of groundwater facilitate adoption of yield enhancing technologies over the longrun. (JEL D74, I32, O13, O15, O18, Q15, Q16)
doi:10.1257/app.6.3.76 fatcat:bn2f7tiourdnxakxodvz7eotj4