ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Empirical, Identification of Peasant Classes Revisited

March 1, 1980 Empirical, Identification of Peasant Classes Revisited Utsa Patnaik IN a recent issue of this journal1 Ranjit Sau offers criticism of my piece on "Class Differentiation within the Peasantry" written some years ago.2 I thank Sau for his detailed discussion which has helped to clarify the issue in many respects. My observations here may be divided under four heads: (1) on Sau's own proposed criterion for demarcating the class status of pea- sant households, which he thinks should replace mine; (2) on his criticisms of my formulation; (3) on the question of what constitutes the barrier to productive investment in agriculture; and (4) some results of applying our criterion to primary data On Sau's proposed empirical criterion which he defines as "the ratio between the surplus product appropriated by the peasant and the surplus product supplied by him" and labels the "rate of exploitation R". The rationale and meaning of this formulation escapes me despite sincere attempts to understand it.

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