Abstract: The causal relationship between agricultural development and literacy has been a controversial and sometimes clouded issue. Early research found that literacy is positively related to farmer innovation and speculated that literacy is a fundamental prerequisite for development. More recent studies have found that the relationship between literacy and innovation becomes insignificant when controlling for other factors. To clarify the causal relationship between literacy and development, 1961 and 1971 agricultural and census data are analyzed for almost all of India's 334 districts. The over-time dimension permits the research to examine the impact of literacy on change in agricultural production and vice versa. According to the findings, Indian districts with high levels of 1961 agricultural production experienced growth in Ru literacy during the 1960s. However, high 1961 Ru literacy did not cause higher levels of agricultural production between 1961 and 1971. This result may stem from the fact that accelerated food production took place in the low literacy, wheat growing areas of India during the 1960s, coupled with the fact that increased agricultural production attracted in-migration of (often nonliterate) agricultural laborers.
|Last updated April 23, 2001||
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