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Socio-economic Well-being—Impact of Wider Highways on the Rural Poor Living in Proximity

Journal of Development Policy and Practice, Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2016
This article investigates the effect that a highway and its widening would have on the socio-economic lives of the poorer people living in its proximity. Such impact is positive at the micro-level because closer a household is to the highway, greater would be its connectivity. Increased mobility provides access to various economic opportunities and amenities of life. One would expect these positive welfare effects to decline as the approach distance of the highway from the household increases and ultimately to disappear beyond a threshold distance. This premise has been empirically verified here using a household-level baseline survey data pertaining to the project of widening of a stretch of the National Highway 2 (NH2), one of India’s oldest national highways. The article further examines how the widening of the highway enhances the benefit of proximity to the highway by comparing the baseline survey data and the resurvey data, the latter pertaining to a period after the completion of the project. It estimates the partial effect of widening of the highway on the socio-economic well-being of the household of the economies through which it passes using the methodology of non-parametric regression analysis (NRA) and propensity score matching technique (PSMT) cum single/double differencing technique.
Courtesy: Sage
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