The research project makes use of the rural household data as compiled under the Additional Rural Incomes Survey (ARIS) and Rural Economic and Demographic Survey (REDS). The ARIS/REDS data sets form a village and household data base providing information on sample villages spread across various states in India, collected in four rounds conducted between the years 1971 and 2006. These data sets allow us to analyse the various micro characteristics of these households and their interaction with a range of environments (village, district, state, and the entire country). In addition to this, the panel nature of these data sets enables us to understand both the evolution of policy as well as trace the impact of different policy regimes on household. Moreover, they document the changes in terms of the entire gamut of economic, socio-economic and demographic parameters that have occurred in the rural population of India over the last three decades. They also permit in-depth analyses of the determinants of these of changes and, in particular, illuminate the role of agricultural progress in shaping rural life.
The first round of the survey for which complete village and household information is available is the 1971 round of the ARIS, which includes 4527 households in 259 villages and is meant to represent the entire rural population of India residing in 17 major states.
In 1982, 250 of the original 259 villages were revisited (the state of Assam was excluded due to local political disturbances rendering survey activity impossible) and 4979 surveyed, approximately two-thirds of which were the same as in 1971. In 1999, all of the 1971 villages were surveyed, excluding the 8 sample villages from Jammu and Kashmir (again, owing to problems of local insurgency). In this survey round, all of the surviving households in the 1982 survey were surveyed again, including all split-off households residing in the same village, plus a small random sample of new households. Because of household divisions and the new sample design incorporating all village-resident male household members surveyed in the 1982 round, the number of households in the 1999 round increased to 7474. The current round of 2006 (agricultural season 2005-2006) has a sample size of 9500 and includes all of the households surveyed in 1999 and the split-off households residing within these villages. Each village has approximately 8 new randomly selected households.
Each round of the survey has three components. These include the listing sheets, community or the village questionnaire, and the household schedule canvassed from the selected households.
i) Listing sheets:
These provide the basis for the surveys. Listing has included a partial census of households in 1971, 1982 and 1999. The current round involves a complete census of households residing in these villages. There are thus 2,50,000 listed households spread across 242 villages.
ii) Village questionnaire:
Recognising that villages need to be treated as viable economic units, detailed community (village) level data has been collected in all rounds. At one level, it gives an insight into the social and economic evolution of these villages. At another level, these questionnaires also provide information on the locus of control of village affairs, flow of funds, availability of schools, infrastructure, and, other public goods. iii) Household questionnaire:
The household survey provided information on assets and incomes, by source, and agricultural inputs and outputs at the household level. (This last feature has changed in the 2006 survey where both input and out put information is collected crop-wise at the level of fragments). In addition to these, there is information on household member characteristics, including educational attainment, school enrolment, and work participation. In the current round, there is also detailed current and retrospective information on participation in governance, impact of conflicts, and, social relations.
Unique features of the data sets:
- 1982 Round
- Data contains sections on demographic structure of rural households for the first time; 1971 survey did not follow all household splits.
- Focus on use of technology in agriculture, measurement of technological change.
- 1999 Round
- Significant sections on migration added to the survey.
- Data from rural non-farm employment strengthened.
- Separate modules targeted at women members of the households introduced.
- All household splits between 1982 and 1999 followed up.
- Significantly expanded listing exercise; listing is now a village census.
- Detailed information on income available at the listing stage itself.
- Information also available on castes, social networks and social discrimination.
- Community questionnaire significantly expanded.
- Detailed data on governance structures as well as history and evolution of villages collected.
- Detailed information available on agricultural patterns, crop choice, agricultural infrastructure and local public goods.
- Household questionnaire expanded to include sections on governance and conflicts.
- Cost of cultivation data now available at the level of unit of cultivation.
- Consumption data now collected using recall periods consistent with frequency of purchase.
- Land markets and land rental networks articulated.
- Use of vignettes to evaluate households’ perception of delivery of pubic goods, local administration and social relations.
The ARIS/REDS data sets have additionally been supplemented with secondary data collected from the different functionaries representing the different layers of the governing structure (such as the zilla panchayats
), and focus on group discussions held in select villages.
For the 1971, 1982 and 1999 rounds please get in touch with Dr.H.K.Nagarajan at firstname.lastname@example.org