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A Tale of Two States: Maharashtra and West Bengal

Author

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  • Amartya Lahiri

    (University of British Columbia)

  • Kei-Mu Yi

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia)

Abstract

In this paper we study the decline of West Bengal relative to Maharashtra, historically two of the most important states of India. In 1960, West Bengal's per capita income exceeded that of Maharashtra, the third richest state at the time. By 1993, it had fallen to just 69 percent of Maharashtra's per capita income. We employ a "wedge" methodology based on the first order conditions of a multi-sector neoclassical growth model to ascertain the output and factor market sources of the divergent economic performances. Our diagnostic analysis reveals that a large part of West Bengal's development woes can be attributed to: (a) low sectoral productivity, especially in manufacturing and services; and (b) sectoral misallocation in labor markets between the manufacturing sector and the other sectors of the economy. We also present evidence on the labor market, the manufacturing sector, and public infrastructure that suggest a systematic worsening of the business environment in West Bengal during this period. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • Amartya Lahiri & Kei-Mu Yi, 2009. "A Tale of Two States: Maharashtra and West Bengal," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(3), pages 523-542, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:06-220
    DOI: 10.1016/j.red.2008.09.006
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    2. Gupta, Abhay, 2007. "Indian Economy - TFP or Factor Accumulation: A Comprehensive Growth Accounting Exercise," MPRA Paper 10316, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Viktoria Hnatkovska & Michael Devereux, 2009. "International and Intra-national Real Exchange Rates: Evidence and Theory," 2009 Meeting Papers 1213, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Saibal Ghosh, 2017. "Labour laws and innovation: Evidence from Indian states," The Indian Journal of Labour Economics, Springer;The Indian Society of Labour Economics (ISLE), vol. 60(2), pages 175-190, June.
    5. Ghosh Saibal, 2017. "Political Federalism and Innovation: Are de jure Labor Regulations Absolute?," Asian Journal of Law and Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(3), pages 1-15, December.
    6. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2009. "Misallocation and Manufacturing TFP in China and India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1403-1448.
    7. Shu-Shiuan Lu, 2012. "East Asian growth experience revisited from the perspective of a neoclassical model," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(3), pages 359-376, July.
    8. Saibal Ghosh, 2018. "Corporate investment and political federalism: does judicial efficiency matter?," Indian Economic Review, Springer, vol. 53(1), pages 263-285, December.
    9. Mukherji, Arnab & Mukherji, Anjan, 2012. "Bihar: What Went Wrong? And What Changed?," Working Papers 12/107, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.
    10. Utsav Kumar & Arvind Subramanian, 2011. "India's Growth in the 2000s: Four Facts," Working Paper Series WP11-17, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    11. Suparna Chakraborty & Keisuke Otsu, 2012. "Deconstructing Growth - A Business Cycle Accounting Approach with application to BRICs," Studies in Economics 1212, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    12. Ankita Mishra & Vinod Mishra, 2016. "Is there a conditional convergence in the per capita incomes of BIMAROU states in India?," Monash Economics Working Papers 03-16, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    13. John Bailey Jones & Sohini Sahu, 2017. "Transition accounting for India in a multi-sector dynamic general equilibrium model," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 50(4), pages 299-339, November.
    14. Ankita Mishra & Vinod Mishra, 2018. "Re-examination of convergence hypothesis among Indian states in panel stationarity testing framework with structural breaks," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(3), pages 268-286, January.
    15. Subhash C. Ray & Abhiman Das & Kankana Mukherjee, 2017. "Labor-Cost Efficiency with Indivisible Outputs and Inputs: A Study of Indian Bank Branches," Working papers 2017-04, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    16. Gangopadhyay, Kausik & Mondal, Debasis, 2021. "Productivity, relative sectoral prices, and total factor productivity: Theory and evidence," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 100(C).
    17. Mishra, Ankita & Mishra, Vinod, 2018. "Is there conditional convergence in the per capita incomes of BIMAROU states in India?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 429-437.
    18. Hansen, G.D. & Ohanian, L.E., 2016. "Neoclassical Models in Macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 2043-2130, Elsevier.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    West Bengal; Indian states; Development; Wedges;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology

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