By Peter Lanjouw, Nicholas Stern
This publication offers an account of monetary improvement in Palanpur, a village in rural North India, in accordance with 5 certain surveys of the village over the interval 1957 to 1993. The authors tie within the history problems with the evolution of poverty and inequality and mobility through the years with causal elements corresponding to technological development, demographic and sectoral adjustments, the operation of markets, and the position of public motion.
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Extra info for Economic Development in Palanpur Over Five Decades
The fact that rural areas have, once again, remained relatively peaceful is signiﬁcant. Palanpur's own experience is consistent with the common observation that Hindus and Muslims in rural India have a strong tradition of peaceful coexistence. 43 Before moving on, we should mention that the preceding assessment of Hindu-Muslim relations in Palanpur does not imply that both communities have equal economic opportunities. The Muslims of Palanpur, in fact, are one of the most disadvantaged and deprived groups in the village.
Participant observation’ is an inadequate term to describe the third component of our ﬁeld work. Without trying to masquerade as locals, we welcomed direct experience of as many aspects of village life as possible. We spent some time in the ﬁelds every day, talking with farmers and labourers or lending them a hand (not that our work was always very productive). We had ample opportunities to observe domestic life in the homes where we knew our presence to be welcome. We visited most of those who work outside the village at their workplaces, and were always glad to accept an invitation to accompany someone to the weekly market, a marriage ceremony, a government ofﬁce, a local festival, the district hospital, or a pilgrimage to the Ganges.
Terminology The reference years of the ﬁve surveys are 1957–8, 1962–3, 1974–5, 1983–4, and 1993, respectively. In this chapter, these particular years will be referred to as ‘survey years’. The term ‘survey period’ refers to the entire 1957–93 interval. For each of the ﬁrst three surveys, the reference period is a standard agricultural year, consisting of two major seasons, kharif (June–November) followed by rabi (November–May). For the 1983–4 survey, however, the reference year begins in November 1983, and consists of the rabi season followed by the kharif season of the next agricultural year.