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Federalism and Economic Development in India: An Assessment

  • Singh, Nirvikar
  • SRINIVASAN, T N

This paper examines India’s federal system in the context of prospects for India’s future economic growth and development. After a brief review of India’s recent policy reforms and economic development outcomes, and of the country’s federal institutions, the analysis focuses on the major issues with respect to India’s federal system in terms of their developmental consequences. We examine the impacts of tax assignments, expenditure authority and the intergovernmental transfer system on the following aspects of India’s economy and economic performance: the quality of governance and government expenditure, the efficiency of the tax system, the fiscal health of different tiers of government, and the impacts on growth and on regional inequality. In each case, we discuss recent and possible policy reforms. We make comparisons with China’s federal system where this is instructive for analyzing the Indian case. Finally, we provide a discussion of potential reforms of aspects of India’s federal institutions.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz in its series Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series with number qt2qs4h3t9.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucscec:qt2qs4h3t9
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  1. M. Govinda Rao & Nirvikar Singh, 2007. "The Political Economy of India's Fiscal Federal System and its Reform," Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Oxford University Press, vol. 37(1), pages 26-44, Winter.
  2. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521233293 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Govinda Rao, 2006. "Fiscal Federalism in Planned Economies," Chapters, in: Handbook of Fiscal Federalism, chapter 9 Edward Elgar.
  4. Singh, Nirvikar, 2006. "Services-led industrialization in India: Assessment and lessons," MPRA Paper 1276, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. M. Govinda Rao & Rao, R. Kavita, 2005. "Trends and issues in tax policy and reform in India," Working Papers tru1, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.
  6. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian, 2004. "From "Hindu Growth" to Productivity Surge; The Mystery of the Indian Growth Transition," IMF Working Papers 04/77, International Monetary Fund.
  7. S. Mahendra Dev, 2008. "India," Chapters, in: Handbook on the South Asian Economies, chapter 1 Edward Elgar.
  8. Roy Bahl & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2003. "Fiscal Federalism and Economic Reform in China," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0313, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  9. Singh, Nirvikar, 2007. "Fiscal Decentralization in China and India: Competitive, Cooperative or Market Preserving Federalism?," MPRA Paper 1705, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  11. Galeotti, Gianluigi & Breton, Albert, 1986. "An Economic Theory of Political Parties," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(1), pages 47-65.
  12. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521027922 is not listed on IDEAS
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