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Partition Seminar

5:00 – 6:00 PM: The Short and Long Run Impacts of the Partition

Prashant Bharadwaj, Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of California, San Diego

This paper examines how areas affected by the partition fare in the long run. Using migrant presence as a proxy for the intensity of the impact of the partition, and district level data on agricultural output between 1911-2009, we find that areas that received more migrants have higher average yields, are more likely to take up high yielding varieties (HYV) of seeds, and are more likely to use agricultural technologies. These correlations are more pronounced after the Green Revolution in India. Using pre-partition data, we show that migrant placement is uncorrelated with soil conditions, agricultural infrastructure, and agricultural yields prior to 1947; hence, the effects are not solely explained by selective migration into districts with a higher potential for agricultural development. Migrants moving to India were more educated than both the natives who stayed and the migrants who moved out. Given the positive association of education with the adoption of high yielding varieties of seeds we highlight the presence of educated migrants during the timing of the Green Revolution as a potential pathway for the observed effects.

6:00 – 7:00 PM: Crowd Sourcing Memories of Partition

Karim Lakhani, Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

This part of the project is focusing on oral accounts of the Partition. They are attempting to build a comprehensive database of oral histories through crowd-sourcing, and the use of modern techniques to collect, analyze, and store information from an individual’s experience. The aim is to preserve the rightful spot of these stories in history and give a voice to the realities experienced in the data and surrounding research. The project will enrich the descriptive picture of the event and extend the implications of these stories to understand consequences today.

Light refreshments will be served.

Following this seminar, we are hosting a Focus Group Discussion from 7 – 7:30 about the project. All are welcome.

Seminar resources.

This series, part of the SAI research project ‘Looking Back, Informing the Future: The 1947 Partition of British India – Implications of Mass Dislocations Across Geographies’ will explore issues that have often been ignored in the context of the Partition as well as discuss their relevance and impact today, both in South Asia and in other parts of the world. Through two-hour seminars spread over eight sessions, faculty, students, and community members will be brought together to explore the various facets of this complex historic event.

See a full list of Partition seminars.

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