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The Dynamics of Reform of India’s Federal System


  • Singh, Nirvikar


This paper analyzes the process of reform of India’s federal system, with a focus on fiscal federalism. We first summarize the basic features of, and recent reforms in intergovernmental relations, including the role of political institutions, assignments of expenditure responsibility and revenue authority, the system of intergovernmental transfers, and institutions and mechanisms for government borrowing. We then discuss the institutional specifics of the reform process, to understand the dynamics of India’s federal system.

Suggested Citation

  • Singh, Nirvikar, 2007. "The Dynamics of Reform of India’s Federal System," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt9gh5p65t, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucscec:qt9gh5p65t

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Singh, Nirvikar, 2007. "Fiscal Decentralization in China and India: Competitive, Cooperative or Market Preserving Federalism?," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt76d8b4hm, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
    2. Qian, Yingyi & Roland, Gerard, 1998. "Federalism and the Soft Budget Constraint," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1143-1162, December.
    3. Singh, Nirvikar & Rao, Govinda, 2006. "Political Economy of Federalism in India," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195686937, June.
    4. Singh, Nirvikar & SRINIVASAN, T N, 2006. "Federalism and Economic Development in India: An Assessment," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt2qs4h3t9, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
    5. Kochhar, Kalpana & Kumar, Utsav & Rajan, Raghuram & Subramanian, Arvind & Tokatlidis, Ioannis, 2006. "India's pattern of development: What happened, what follows?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(5), pages 981-1019, July.
    6. M. Govinda Rao & R. Kavita Rao, 2005. "Trends and Issues in Tax Policy and Reform in India," India Policy Forum, Global Economy and Development Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 2(1), pages 55-122.
    7. Jin, Hehui & Qian, Yingyi & Weingast, Barry R., 2005. "Regional decentralization and fiscal incentives: Federalism, Chinese style," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(9-10), pages 1719-1742, September.
    8. Raghuram G. Rajan, 2006. "Competitive Rent Preservation, Reform Paralysis, and the Persistence of Underdevelopment," NBER Working Papers 12093, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. repec:cdl:ucscec:228592 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Yuanzheng Cao & Yingyi Qian & Barry R. Weingast, 1999. "From federalism, Chinese style to privatization, Chinese style," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 7(1), pages 103-131, March.
    11. Singh, Nirvikar, 2006. "Services-Led Industrialization in India: Assessment and Lessons," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt8jn2b8z6, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
    12. Alan Richards & Nirvikar Singh, 2004. "Inter State Water Disputes in India: Institutions and Policies," Development and Comp Systems 0412010, EconWPA.
    13. repec:cdl:ucscec:228576 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Qian, Yingyi & Roland, Gerard & Xu, Chenggang, 1999. "Why is China different from Eastern Europe? Perspectives from organization theory," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 1085-1094, April.
    15. M. Govinda Rao & Pinaki Chakraborty, 2006. "Multilateral adjustment lending to states in India: Hastening fiscal correction or softening the budget constraint?," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(3), pages 335-357.
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    More about this item


    federalism; decentralization; intergovernmental relations; economic reform;

    JEL classification:

    • H00 - Public Economics - - General - - - General
    • H10 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - General
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • R50 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - General


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