chapter  11
Problems of Rural Credit
Pages 54

The two preceding chapters discussed whether changes in the quality of the 'human capital' employed in agricultural production in the peasant sector could have exerted any significant counteracting influence on the tendency for rural per capita incomes to fall. We found that this was unlikely to have been the case other than to a limited extent. It proved difficult to analyze the effects stemming from changes in disease and nutrition, especially since it is quite plausible that changes in the incidence of disease have had a beneficial effect whilst at the same time the deteriorating nutritional situation may have counteracted, and even swamped, these positive influences. In the case of education the effects were more clear-cut. The system of rural education appears to have scarcely contributed to the formation of human capital. Its main function seems to have taken a different form, namely to ensure the domination of the many by the few - of the peasants by the governing cliques. Hence, it appears unlikely that changes in the quality of the human factor have been very active in counteracting the decrease in per capita incomes. The most likely positive effects stem from improvements in health, although their impact remains highly uncertain.