UC Davis Agricultural and Resource Economics

Anil Bhargava: 2014 Gordon A. King Award for Best Dissertation

Jan. 22, 2015

Anil Bhargava's dissertation, "Agriculture, Poverty, and Natural Resource Conservation in 21st Century India: Impact Evaluation and Analysis of Rural Development Policy," analyzes multidimensional impacts of rural development policy and agricultural technology adoption in India.

Two of the chapters in Anil's dissertation evaluate the impact associated with India's Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), which is the largest economic development program ever undertaken to assist the rural poor. Anil analyzes two facets of NREGA that have been largely overlooked in the growing body of working papers on the topic: its short-run effects on technology adoption by small farmers and its long-run impact on agricultural production.

In a third chapter, Anil evaluates the impact of the diffusion of a productivity-enhancing and water-conserving technology on Indian farmers through positive externalities associated with reduced groundwater extraction.

In its application of rigorous empirical and analytical methods to timely and policy-relevant issues, Anil's dissertation reflects the excellence of one of the world's best Ph.D. programs in applied economics.


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