Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/98219
Authors: 
Anagol, Santosh
Etang, Alvin
Karlan, Dean
Year of Publication: 
2013
Series/Report no.: 
Center Discussion Paper, Economic Growth Center 1031
Abstract: 
We examine the returns from owning cows and buffaloes in rural India. We estimate that when valuing labor at market wages, households earn large, negative average returns from holding cows and buffaloes, at negative 64% and negative 39% respectively. This puzzle is mostly explained if we value the household's own labor at zero (a stark assumption), in which case estimated average returns for cows is negative 6% and positive 13% for buffaloes. Why do households continue to invest in livestock if economic returns are negative, or are these estimates wrong? We discuss potential explanations, including labor market failures, for why livestock investments may persist.
Subjects: 
Investment
Profits
Livestock
Labor markets
JEL: 
E21
M4
Q1
O12
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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