Indias Reforms: How they Produced Inclusive Growth

Hardcover | April 30, 2012

EditorJagdish Bhagwati, Arvind Panagariya

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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 fasterthan 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 thelate 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 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 thoseobserved any time in the past. This dramatic turn-around has led the critics to shift ground. They now argue that opening the economy to trade has hurt the poor; that rapid growth is leaving the socially disadvantaged groups behind; and that the reforms have led to increased inequality. They alsoargue that people themselves do not feel that their fortunes are improving.The five original essays in this volume, topped by a substantial introductory essay summarizing their findings, take these challenges head on. They use large-scale sample surveys and other data to systematically address each of these arguments. They show that trade openness has indeed helped reducepoverty not just in general but also among the socially disadvantaged groups. The contributors to the volume find no evidence whatsoever in favor of a negative impact of trade openness on poverty on any groups. The essays also show that inequality shows no clear trend and is unrelated to tradeopenness. Peoples responses have also now turned grossly in favor of reforms. Thus, when asked how they feel about the change in their fortunes in the recent past, an overwhelmingly large proportion of individuals from every conceivable group report improvements. Moreover, systematic analysis of the2009 parliamentary elections show that people now reward the Chief Ministers in states in which they deliver superior growth outcomes and punish those that do not.This book is the first volume in the series Studies in Indian Economic Policies edited by Jagdish Bhagwati and Arvind Panagariya and published by OUP. It contains the first set of five original papers produced under the auspices of the Columbia Program on Indian Economic Policies housed in theSchool of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy (ISERP).

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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 fasterthan in the 1980s. This claim was quickly re...

Jagdish Bhagwati, University Professor at Columbia University and Senior Fellow in International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations, is a prominent economist. He has made pioneering contributions to the study of development, globalization, international trade, foreign aid, and immigration. He also writes frequently for lead...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:216 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:April 30, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199915180

ISBN - 13:9780199915187

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Table of Contents

1. Jagdish Bhagwati and Arvind Panagariya: IntroductionPart I: Reforms and Democracy2. Alfred Stepan: Views from the Indian Electorate: Satisfactions and Dissatisfactions with Democracy, Politics and the Economy3. Poonam Gupta and Arvind Panagariya: Economic Reforms and Electoral OutcomesPart II: Trade, Poverty and Inequality4. J. Cain, Rana Hasan and Devashish Mitra: Trade Liberalization and Poverty Reduction: New Evidence from Indian States5. Megha Mukim and Arvind Panagariya: Growth, Openness and the Socially Disadvantaged6. Pravin Krishna, Guru Sethupathy: Trade and Inequality in India