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From "Hindu Growth" to Productivity Surge: The Mystery of the Indian Growth Transition

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  • Dani Rodrik

    (International Monetary Fund)

  • Arvind Subramanian

    (International Monetary Fund)

Abstract

This paper explores the causes of India's productivity surge around 1980, more than a decade before serious economic reforms were initiated. Trade liberalization, expansionary demand, a favorable external environment, and improved agricultural performance did not play a role. We find evidence that the trigger may have been an attitudinal shift by the government in the early 1980s that, unlike the reforms of the 1990s, was probusiness rather than promarket in character, favoring the interests of existing businesses rather than new entrants or consumers. A relatively small shift elicited a large productivity response, because India was far away from its incomepossibility frontier. Registered manufacturing, which had been built up in previous decades, played an important role in determining which states took advantage of the changed environment.

Suggested Citation

  • Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian, 2005. "From "Hindu Growth" to Productivity Surge: The Mystery of the Indian Growth Transition," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 52(2), pages 193-228, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:imfstp:v:52:y:2005:i:2:p:193-228
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    JEL classification:

    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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