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Polarization, inequality and growth: The Indian experience

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  • Sripad Motiram

    ()
    (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research)

  • Nayantara Sarma

    (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research)

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    Abstract

    We analyze polarization in India roughly in the past two and half decades using consumption expenditure data. We show that polarization has increased sharply since the 1990s, reversing the earlier trend. On multidimensional polarization, we show that several pre-existing cleavages (caste, rural-urban, state, region) have accentuated. Overall, our results suggest that the high growth that India has been witnessing in recent years and the pro-market reforms initiated since 1990s have been associated with widening disparities. Comparing polarization and inequality, we find similarities, but also some differences. Our results therefore underscore the importance of studying polarization as distinct from traditional inequality.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India in its series Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers with number 2011-011.

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    Length: 36 pages
    Date of creation: Jun 2011
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ind:igiwpp:2011-011

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    Keywords: Polarization; Inequality; Growth in India;

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    1. Chakravarty, Satya R & Majumder, Amita, 2001. "Inequality, Polarisation and Welfare: Theory and Applications," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 1-13, March.
    2. Jayadev, Arjun & Reddy, Sanjay G., 2011. "Inequalities between Groups: Theory and Empirics," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 159-173, February.
    3. Zhang, Siao-Bo & Kanbur, Ravi, 1999. "What Difference Do Polarization Measures Make? An Application To China," Working Papers 7224, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
    4. Marx, Karl, 1867. "Capital: A Critique of Political Economy (I): The Process of Capitalist Production," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 1, number marx1867.
    5. Juan G. Rodríguez & Rafael Salas, . "Extended Bi-Polarization And Inequality Measures," Working Papers 10-03 Classification-JEL , Instituto de Estudios Fiscales.
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