The Village through Seven Decades*
This chapter sets the stage for the detailed discussion of economic development in Palanpur in subsequent chapters by offering a broad, largely but not exclusively quantitative, description of the village and its story of change during the period between 1957/8 and 2015. It draws on previously published materials, newly collected household survey data, secondary data, and qualitative information from notes, annotations, and diaries, to describe how Palanpur has evolved from a very poor, fairly closed, farming community with a rather rigid social structure, to a significantly less poor village with a diversified portfolio of economic activities and extensive links to the outside world. The chapter describes the evolution of income distribution in Palanpur, as well as of human development outcomes. The impact of polices and the role of institutions and politics in governing the changes in the village’s economy and society are examined.
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