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

  • Rodrik, Dani
  • Subramanian, Arvind

Most conventional accounts of India’s recent economic performance associate the pick-up in economic growth with the liberalization of 1991. This Paper demonstrates that the transition to high growth occurred around 1980, a full decade before economic liberalization. We investigate a number of hypotheses about the causes of this growth – favourable external environment, fiscal stimulus, trade liberalization, internal liberalization, the green revolution, public investment – and find them wanting. We argue that growth was triggered by an attitudinal shift on the part of the national government towards a pro-business (as opposed to pro-liberalization) approach. We provide some evidence that is consistent with this argument.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4371.

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Date of creation: Apr 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4371
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  1. Dani Rodrik, 2003. "Growth Strategies," NBER Working Papers 10050, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2002. "Can labour regulation hinder economic performance? Evidence from India," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3779, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Subramanian, Arvind & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2007. "The WTO promotes trade, strongly but unevenly," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 151-175, May.
  4. Montek S. Ahluwalia, 2002. "Economic Reforms in India Since 1991: Has Gradualism Worked?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 67-88, Summer.
  5. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Wing Thye Woo, 1997. "Understanding China's Economic Performance," NBER Working Papers 5935, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2000. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 7771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi & Dani Rodrik, 2002. "Institutions Rule; The Primacy of Institutions Over Integration and Geography in Economic Development," IMF Working Papers 02/189, International Monetary Fund.
  8. Robert J. Barro, 1988. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogenous Growth," NBER Working Papers 2588, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Angus Deaton & Jean Dreze, 2002. "Poverty and Inequality in India: A Re-Examination," Working Papers 184, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  10. Hausmann, Ricardo & Rodrik, Dani, 2002. "Economic Development as Self-Discovery," Working Paper Series rwp02-023, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  11. Lant Pritchett, 1997. "Divergence, Big Time," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 3-17, Summer.
  12. Petia Topalova, 2004. "Trade Liberalization and Firm Productivity; The Case of India," IMF Working Papers 04/28, International Monetary Fund.
  13. Jushan Bai & Pierre Perron, 2003. "Computation and analysis of multiple structural change models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(1), pages 1-22.
  14. repec:rus:hseeco:123558 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Jushan Bai & Pierre Perron, 1998. "Estimating and Testing Linear Models with Multiple Structural Changes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(1), pages 47-78, January.
  16. Charles R. Hulten & Sylaja Srinivasan, 1999. "Indian Manufacturing Industry: Elephant or Tiger? New Evidence on the Asian Miracle," NBER Working Papers 7441, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. T. N. Srinivasan & Suresh D. Tendulkar, 2003. "Reintegrating India with the World Economy," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 98.
  18. Deb Kusum Das, 2003. "Quantifing trade barriers: Has protection declined substantially in Indian manufacturing?," Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, New Delhi Working Papers 105, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, New Delhi, India.
  19. Burgess, Robin & Venables, Anthony J., 2004. "Toward a microeconomics of growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3257, The World Bank.
  20. Kohli, Atul, 1989. "Politics of economic liberalization in India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 305-328, March.
  21. Bulent Unel, 2003. "Productivity Trends in India's Manufacturing Sectors in the Last Two Decades," IMF Working Papers 03/22, International Monetary Fund.
  22. Richard Hemming & Woosik Chu & Charles Collyns & Karen Elizabeth Parker & Ajai Chopra & Oliver Fratzscher, 1995. "India; Economic Reform and Growth," IMF Occasional Papers 134, International Monetary Fund.
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