chapter  6
Equity and Poverty
WithDouglas F. Barnes
Pages 21

This chapter examines the equity impact of rural electrification from various perspectives. The first is whether there was a relative widening of class differences in the 1980s studies. The second is whether land was being concentrated into fewer farms because of the greater ability of large farmers to take advantage of electric power. To better assess the equity impact of rural electrification, the chapter also examines who adopted electricity and how it affected their quality of life, whether electrification adversely affected land equality, and the nature of its long-term relationship with rural poverty. The cause-and-effect relationship between rural development, poverty and income distribution may take several forms. The existence of a large middle class, as opposed to extremes of poverty and wealth, would be a much more favorable climate for household adoption. Rural poverty in India involves such issues as agricultural productivity, nonfarm employment opportunities, minority groups and landholdings distribution.