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Irrigation as a Determinant of Social Capital in India: A Large-Scale Survey Analysis

von Carnap-Bornheim, Tillmann (2016): Irrigation as a Determinant of Social Capital in India: A Large-Scale Survey Analysis.

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Practicing agriculture requires organisation and coordination. To analyse the extent to which differences in agricultural practices can account for variation in social capital, a large survey containing indicators of social capital is combined with detailed agricultural statistics. The main factor under analysis is irrigation, together with prevalent grain sorts, thereby building on prior research. The richness of the datasets allows to explore various dimensions of social capital in geographic detail and their distribution among societal groups. Results reveal a significant negative influence of irrigation on the prevalence of conflict and an increased likelihood for communal conflict solution strategies within communities. These results are strongest for landholders working their own land, yet lose significance when accounting for intra-district correlation. For other indicators of social capital such as confidence and membership in organisations, the results are less conclusive, yet some interesting relations emerge.

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