NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Continued Existence of Cows Disproves Central Tenets of Capitalism?

Santosh Anagol, Alvin Etang, Dean Karlan

NBER Working Paper No. 19437
Issued in September 2013, Revised in October 2013
NBER Program(s):   LE   LS

We examine the returns from owning cows and buffaloes in rural India. We estimate that when valuing labor at market wages, households earn large, negative average returns from holding cows and buffaloes, at negative 64% and negative 39% respectively. This puzzle is mostly explained if we value the household's own labor at zero (a stark assumption), in which case estimated average returns for cows is negative 6% and positive 13% for buffaloes. Why do households continue to invest in livestock if economic returns are negative, or are these estimates wrong? We discuss potential explanations, including labor market failures, for why livestock investments may persist.

download in pdf format
   (867 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w19437

Published: Santosh Anagol & Alvin Etang & Dean Karlan, 2017. "Continued Existence of Cows Disproves Central Tenets of Capitalism?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65(4), pages 583-618. citation courtesy of

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Attanasio and Augsburg w20304 Holy Cows or Cash Cows?
Karlan, Osei, Osei-Akoto, and Udry w18463 Agricultural Decisions after Relaxing Credit and Risk Constraints
Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson w10481 Institutions as the Fundamental Cause of Long-Run Growth
Reinhart and Rogoff w13761 Is the 2007 U.S. Sub-Prime Financial Crisis So Different? An International Historical Comparison
Eichengreen and Bordo w8716 Crises Now and Then: What Lessons from the Last Era of Financial Globalization
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us