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Any survey of contributions to economic analysis in India, even though confined to the post-war years and to issues arising from domestic economic events and policy, runs into exceptional difficulties. Not only has practically every conceivable problem been raised and discussed by economists, in a country where interest in economic issues dates back at least to the latter half of the 19th century; but there have also been numerous committees and commissions whose report have led to a voluminous literature.

Ruthless selectivity has thus been inevitable. We have generally focussed, in this survey, on contributions which meet the following criteria: (1) they should have analytical interest, either theoretical or empirical; (2) they should be made by Indian or India-based economists; and (3) they should have some bearing on Indian economic policy issues, even though they cannot necessarily be demonstrated to have arisen in consequence thereof or to have had any impact on policymaking.

The Survey thus rules out of consideration the vast bulk of official literature, whose analytical base is frequently largely minimal, as also the purely descriptive and institutional material from non-official sources (such as the Indian Statistical Institute) whose utility otherwise is not to be minimized. Equally, the Survey does not extend to the growing numbers of contributions to general theoretical economic analysis that Indian economists have begun to make, as is evident from the contents of reputed journals in the last decade.

This Survey, therefore, is neither a comprehensive account of the state of economic research in the country nor does it pretend to give an exhaustive picture of the policy issues that have been discussed on the Indian scene since 1947 when India gained independence.


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Copyright © 1969 by the American Economic Association.