India's Reforms: How they Produced Inclusive Growth

India's Reforms: How they Produced Inclusive Growth


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Part of the Studies in Indian Economic Policies series.

When India embraced systematic economic reforms in 1991 and began opening its economy to both domestic and foreign competition, critics argued that they had contributed little to the acceleration of economic growth. Their argument had rested on the claim that growth in the 1990s was no faster than in the 1980s. This claim was quickly refuted on the grounds that when properly evaluated, growth had indeed accelerated in the 1990s and more importantly, while reforms had been made systematic in 1991, they had actually begun much earlier in the late 1970s. Subsequently, the reforms of the late 1990s and early 2000s have led to a jump in the growth rate from six percent in the 1990s to eight to nine percent beginning in 2003. The reforms have also led to a major structural change in the economy: the trade to GDP ratio has tripled since 1991, there has been a gigantic expansion of foreign investment in India, and sectors such as telecommunications, airlines, and automobiles have expanded at rates much higher than at any time in the past. This dramatic turnaround has led critics to shift ground. They now argue that opening the economy to trade has hurt the poor; that rapid growth is leaving socially disadvantaged groups behind; and that reforms have led to increased inequality. The essays in this volume take these challenges head-on. They use large-scale sample surveys and other data to systematically address each of the arguments.

India's Reforms is the first volume in the series Studies in Indian Economic Policies, edited by Jagdish Bhagwati and Arvind Panagariya and published by Oxford University Press. It contains the first set of five original papers produced under the auspices of the Columbia Program on Indian Economic Policies housed in the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy (ISERP).


Economics | International Economics | Political Economy | Social and Behavioral Sciences




Oxford University Press


New York, NY


"India's remarkable growth trajectory of the last two decades, like many amazing developments, has provoked more conjectures than analyses and more heat than light. Bhagwati and Panagariya have assembled a wonderful group of authors and analyses to illuminate the sources of that growth and their distributional consequences. Their efforts will quickly become foundational for anyone interested in one of the great economic stories of our time."
Mihir A. Desai, Mizuho Financial Group Professor, Harvard Business School

"Jagdish Bhagwati and Arvind Panagariya have put together a compelling set of papers which show that India's economic reforms, carried out between 1991 and 2004, have not only increased productivity and growth of the Indian economy but have also reduced poverty and enhanced income and opportunities of disadvantaged segments of society. These empirical studies should be compulsory reading for both supporters of Indian economic reforms and their opponents. It is a very timely and well-researched volume, which will be indispensable for teachers, students, and policy-makers."
Shankar Acharya, Former Chief Economic Advisor, Government of India

India's Reforms comprises a set of high-quality papers on the impact of India's macro-economic, trade, investment and other policies undertaken mainly between 1991 and 2004 on growth, poverty, income levels and opportunities for relatively low-income households, and on electoral behaviour. Among the postive features of this edited volume is the inclusion, among the contributors, of two graduate students, researchers based in India, and an economist with the Asian Development Bank, in addition to prominent researchers from universities in the US. India's Reforms will be useful reading for a wide range of stakeholders, including academics, researchers, policy-makers, administrators and opinion-shapers. This volume is particularly instructive in demonstrating how constructive debate can be conducted on the impact of India's economic reforms since 1991 on growth, poverty, inequality and voter response."
Journal of Management


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India's Reforms: How they Produced Inclusive Growth

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