The Poverty Impact of Rural Roads: Evidence from Bangladesh

34 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2006

See all articles by Shahidur R. Khandker

Shahidur R. Khandker

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Zaid Bakht

World Bank; Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS)

Gayatri B. Koolwal

World Bank

Date Written: April 2006

Abstract

The rationale for public investment in rural roads is that households can better exploit agricultural and nonagricultural opportunities to use labor and capital more efficiently. But significant knowledge gaps remain as to how opportunities provided by roads actually filter back into household outcomes and their distributional consequences. This paper examines the impacts of rural road projects using household-level panel data from Bangladesh. Rural road investments are found to reduce poverty significantly through higher agricultural production, higher wages, lower input and transportation costs, and higher output prices. Rural roads also lead to higher girls' and boys' schooling. Road investments are pro-poor, meaning the gains are proportionately higher for the poor than for the non-poor.

Suggested Citation

Khandker, Shahidur R. and Bakht, Zaid and Koolwal, Gayatri B., The Poverty Impact of Rural Roads: Evidence from Bangladesh (April 2006). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 3875, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=935402

Shahidur R. Khandker (Contact Author)

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Zaid Bakht

World Bank

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS)

E-17, Agargao, Shere Bangla Nagar
Dhaka, 1207
Bangladesh

Gayatri B. Koolwal

World Bank ( email )

United States

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