Palanpur, the Economy of An Indian Village

By C. J. Bliss; N. H. Stern | Go to book overview

6 Output and Income

§ 6.0 Introduction

In the previous two chapters we have studied the allocation of factors to different uses. We shall now examine the outpu + ̇t a household generates by the employment of these factors and, using simple regressions, we investigate how the value of output for a season or a year is explained by land cultivated, family labour, and bullock power. Water sources and the use of fertilizers will also be considered.

We must immediately draw a sharp distinction between the production relations discussed in this chapter and those to be examined in Chapters 7 and 8. The output studied here is the sum of the value of the outputs from different activities. The inputs are, in general, stocks available to the individual household. Thus the production functions as formulated and estimated are not simply technological relations but contain important behavioural elements in that they embody decisions about cropping patterns and the use of stocks of the factors. In contrast, in our study of the sample wheat plots, reported in the next two chapters, we have concentrated on a single crop and have measured inputs actually used. Although behavioural components cannot be entirely eliminated, the relationship which is estimated in that study is, in the main, a description of the technical aspects of the activity in question--wheat production.

Each of the two varieties of production function has its own interest. It is important, however, to recognize the behavioural component of the functions analysed in this chapter. We showed, for example, in Chapter 3 that output could be either an increasing or decreasing function of the number of family members present on the farm, given different assumptions on utility functions and sharing arrangements. Thus the range of possible outcomes of the investigations in this chapter is rather wider than those of the study to follow since in the latter case we have extensive information on the technical relations from previous agricultural studies.

The aggregation in this study is accompanied by a wider data base. For the analysis of our sample wheat plots the details required implied a restriction on the number of plots we could cover. We had forty-seven observations drawn from thirty-seven households. Here we have output and income data for all the 111 households involved in agriculture in some way although some, of course, do not cultivate. Our primary concern in this chapter is with agricultural output. We concentrated our attention in the collection of data on the outputs of various crops and devoted rather less resources to attempting to measure costs and other sources of income. The space devoted to the analysis of income is accordingly smaller.

In the next section we shall discuss some theoretical preliminaries and in § 6.2 the collection of the data. The construction of our output and income

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