In Defense of the Irrational Peasant: Indian Agriculture After the Green Revolution

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In Defense of the Irrational Peasant: Indian Agriculture After the Green Revolution

By Kusum Nair
University of Chicago Press, 1979
154 pp. $17.00
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In her consistently vivid style, which combines attention to human beings with equal attention to abstract economic theories, Mrs. Nair explains why the Wheat Revolution worked in the Indian state of Punjab but not in Bihar. The answer is relatively simple. The big farmers in Bihar are conspicuously wasteful and inefficient. The solution? Use monetary incentives so that it is too costly for big landowners not to cultivate efficiently. This book is a very provocative addition to the literature on rural development in Asia; it deserves a wide audience.

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