Insurgency, crime, and agricultural labor expenditure: Evidence from Punjab, 1978-1990

Prakarsh Singh


Using micro-level farmer expenditure surveys, this article studies the insurgency in the Punjab region of India, thought to have cost over 20,000 lives. It finds that the violence is statistically associated with an 11.4 percent decline in spending on permanent agricultural labor but did not have a statistically significant effect on the use of temporary labor. Moreover, insurgency-related violence likely signaled an increase in future kidnappings of farm labor and may have incentivized labor away from longer duration contracts. Richer farmsteads appear to be more sensitive to insurgent violence than poorer ones in reducing their labor spending.

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