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Some Economic Consequences of India's Institutions of Governance: A Conceptual Framework


  • Singh, Nirvikar


This paper examines the functioning of some of India’s institutions of governance, namely, the legislative and executive branches of government, the judiciary, and the bureaucracy, from an instrumental, economic perspective. Governance is analyzed along three dimensions: (1) the degree of commitment or durability of laws and rules, (2) the degree of enforcement of these laws, and (3) the degree of decentralization of jurisdictions with respect to local public goods. It is suggested that India's experience of governance reflects insufficiencies in all three dimensions: of durability, enforcement, and decentralization, with adverse consequences for economic efficiency. The paper concludes with a brief normative discussion of collective action in general, and alternative structures of institutions of governance.

Suggested Citation

  • Singh, Nirvikar, 2003. "Some Economic Consequences of India's Institutions of Governance: A Conceptual Framework," Santa Cruz Center for International Economics, Working Paper Series qt94r0j02t, Center for International Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:scciec:qt94r0j02t

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Robert C. Feenstra & James R. Markusen & Andrew K. Rose, 2001. "Using the gravity equation to differentiate among alternative theories of trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(2), pages 430-447, May.
    2. Keith Head & John Ries, 2001. "Increasing Returns versus National Product Differentiation as an Explanation for the Pattern of U.S.-Canada Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 858-876, September.
    3. Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry & Ries, John, 2002. "On the Pervasiveness of Home Market Effects," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 69(275), pages 371-390, August.
    4. Byron, R P & Ashenfelter, Orley, 1995. "Predicting the Quality of an Unborn Grange," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 71(212), pages 40-53, March.
    5. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/c8dmi8nm4pdjkuc9g8o4o0m0g is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Ahsan, Reshad N., 2013. "Input tariffs, speed of contract enforcement, and the productivity of firms in India," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 181-192.
    2. Singh, Nirvikar, 2008. "India’s Development Strategy: Accidents, Design and Replicability," MPRA Paper 12453, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Amrit Amirapu, 2017. "Justice Delayed is Growth Denied: The Effect of Slow Courts on Relationship-Specific Industries in India," Studies in Economics 1706, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    4. Singh, Nirvikar, 2008. "Holding India together: The role of institutions of federalism," MPRA Paper 12432, University Library of Munich, Germany.


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