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The Great Western Development policy: how it affected grain crop production, land use and rural poverty in western China

The Great Western Development policy: how it affected grain crop production, land use and rural... The purpose of this paper evaluates the effects of the Great Western Development (GWD) policy on agricultural intensification, land use, agricultural production and rural poverty in western China.Design/methodology/approachThe authors collect county-level data on land use, input application, grain crop production, income, poverty and geophysical characteristics for 1996–2005 and use a quasi-natural experimental design of difference-in-differences (DD) in the empirical analysis.FindingsResults suggest that the GWD policy significantly increased the grain crop production in western China. This increase resulted from higher yield, with increased fertilizer use and agricultural electricity consumption per hectare, and more land allocated to grow grain crops. The policy also increased land-use concentration, reduced crop diversity and alleviated rural poverty in western China.Originality/valueThis paper makes three contributions. First, the authors add to the growing literature on the GWD policy by evaluating its effects on farm household decisions and exploring the mechanisms and broad socioeconomic impacts in western China. Second, the authors take advantage of a quasi-natural experimental design to improve the identification strategy where input use, land allocation, production and off-farm labor participation are all endogenous in a farm household. Third, the authors explore a long list of variables within one integrated dataset to present a comprehensive picture of the impact of the GWD policy. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png China Agricultural Economic Review Emerald Publishing

The Great Western Development policy: how it affected grain crop production, land use and rural poverty in western China

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1756-137X
DOI
10.1108/caer-07-2020-0175
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this paper evaluates the effects of the Great Western Development (GWD) policy on agricultural intensification, land use, agricultural production and rural poverty in western China.Design/methodology/approachThe authors collect county-level data on land use, input application, grain crop production, income, poverty and geophysical characteristics for 1996–2005 and use a quasi-natural experimental design of difference-in-differences (DD) in the empirical analysis.FindingsResults suggest that the GWD policy significantly increased the grain crop production in western China. This increase resulted from higher yield, with increased fertilizer use and agricultural electricity consumption per hectare, and more land allocated to grow grain crops. The policy also increased land-use concentration, reduced crop diversity and alleviated rural poverty in western China.Originality/valueThis paper makes three contributions. First, the authors add to the growing literature on the GWD policy by evaluating its effects on farm household decisions and exploring the mechanisms and broad socioeconomic impacts in western China. Second, the authors take advantage of a quasi-natural experimental design to improve the identification strategy where input use, land allocation, production and off-farm labor participation are all endogenous in a farm household. Third, the authors explore a long list of variables within one integrated dataset to present a comprehensive picture of the impact of the GWD policy.

Journal

China Agricultural Economic ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 1, 2021

Keywords: Great Western Development; Crop production; Land use; Off-farm labor participation; Poverty alleviation

References