IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

The Unequal Effects of Liberalization: Evidence from Dismantling the License Raj in India

  • Aghion, Philippe
  • Burgess, Robin
  • Redding, Stephen J.
  • Zilibotti, Fabrizio

This paper investigates whether the effects, on registered manufacturing output, employment, entry and investment, of dismantling the 'license raj' - a system of central controls regulating entry and production activity in this sector - vary across Indian states with different labour market regulations. The effects are found to be unequal depending on the institutional environment in which industries are embedded. In particular, following delicensing, industries located in states with pro-employer labour market institutions grew more quickly than those in pro-worker environments. Our results emphasize how local institutions matter for whether industry in a region benefits or is harmed by the nationwide delicensing reform.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5492.

in new window

Date of creation: Feb 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5492
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.

Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820

Order Information: Email:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andre Shleifer, 2000. "The Regulation of Entry," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1904, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Francisco Rodriguez & Dani Rodrik, 1999. "Trade Policy and Economic Growth: a Skeptic's Guide to the Cross-National Evidence," Working Papers 9912, Economic Research Forum, revised Apr 1999.
  3. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Keong T. Woo, 2005. "The Impact of Outsourcing to China on Hong Kong's Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1673-1687, December.
  4. Attanasio, Orazio & Goldberg, Pinelopi & Pavcnik, Nina, 2003. "Trade Reforms and Wage Inequality in Colombia," CEPR Discussion Papers 4023, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Fallon, Peter R. & Lucas, Robert E. B., 1993. "Job security regulations and the dynamic demand for industrial labor in India and Zimbabwe," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 241-275, April.
  6. Howitt, Peter & Griffith, Rachel & Aghion, Philippe & Blundell, Richard & Bloom, Nick, 2005. "Competition and Innovation: An Inverted-U Relationship," Scholarly Articles 4481507, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Rodrik, Dani & Subramanian, Arvind & Trebbi, Francesco, 2002. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 3643, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2001. "Trade, growth, and poverty," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2615, The World Bank.
  9. Olivier Blanchard & Francesco Giavazzi, . "Macroeconomic effects of regulation and deregulation in goods and labor markets," Working Papers 187, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  10. Philippe Aghion & Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & Peter Howitt & Susanne Prantl, 2004. "Entry and Productivity Growth: Evidence from Microlevel Panel Data," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 265-276, 04/05.
  11. Marianne Bertrand & Francis Kramarz, 2001. "Does Entry Regulation Hinder Job Creation ? Evidence from the French Retail Industry," Working Papers 2001-12, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  12. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian, 2004. "From "Hindu Growth" to Productivity Surge: The Mystery of the Indian Growth Transition," NBER Working Papers 10376, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2004. "Can Labor Regulation Hinder Economic Performance? Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 91-134.
  14. Pravin Krishna & Devashish Mitra, . "Trade Liberalization, Market Discipline and Productivity Growth: New Evidence From India," Working Papers 96-8, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  15. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2002. "Growth Is Good for the Poor," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 195-225, September.
  16. Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan, 1993. "Protection for Sale," CEPR Discussion Papers 827, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Zilibotti, Fabrizio & Redding, Stephen & Burgess, Robin & Aghion, Philippe, 2005. "Entry Liberalization and Inequality in Industrial Performance," Scholarly Articles 4481508, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  18. Ricardo J. Caballero & Mohamad L. Hammour, 1996. "The Macroeconomics of Specificity," NBER Working Papers 5757, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Verhoogen, Eric, 2007. "Trade, Quality Upgrading and Wage Inequality in the Mexican Manufacturing Sector," IZA Discussion Papers 2913, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  20. Ricardo J. Caballero & Kevin Cowan & Eduardo M. R. A. Engel & Alejandro Micco, 2004. "Effective labor regulation and microeconomic flexibility," Working Papers 04-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  21. Daniel Trefler, 2001. "The Long and Short of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement," NBER Working Papers 8293, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Rama, Martin & Tabellini, Guido, 1995. "Endogenous distortions in product and labor markets," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1413, The World Bank.
  23. Levinsohn, James, 1999. "Employment responses to international liberalization in Chile," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 321-344, April.
  24. Thomas J. Holmes, 1998. "The Effect of State Policies on the Location of Manufacturing: Evidence from State Borders," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(4), pages 667-705, August.
  25. Francisco Rodriguez & Dani Rodrik, 1999. "Trade Policy and Economic Growth: A Skeptic's Guide to Cross-National Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7081, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Hausmann, Ricardo & Rodrik, Dani, 2002. "Economic Development as Self Discovery," CEPR Discussion Papers 3356, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  27. Petia Topalova, 2004. "Trade Liberalization and Firm Productivity; The Case of India," IMF Working Papers 04/28, International Monetary Fund.
  28. Hay, Donald A, 2001. "The Post-1990 Brazilian Trade Liberalisation and the Performance of Large Manufacturing Firms: Productivity, Market Share and Profits," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 620-41, July.
  29. Acemoglu, Daron & Aghion, Philippe & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2002. "Distance to Frontier, Selection, and Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 3467, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  30. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  31. Muendler, Marc-Andreas, 2004. "Trade, Technology, and Productivity: A Study of Brazilian Manufacturers, 1986-1998," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt6m96c2r7, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  32. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," NBER Working Papers 8841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  33. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
  34. Nina Pavcnik, 2002. "Trade Liberalization, Exit, and Productivity Improvements: Evidence from Chilean Plants," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 245-276.
  35. Gordon H. Hanson, 2005. "Globalization, Labor Income, and Poverty in Mexico," NBER Working Papers 11027, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  36. Neary, J Peter, 1978. "Short-Run Capital Specificity and the Pure Theory of International Trade," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 88(351), pages 488-510, September.
  37. Rama, Martin, 1997. "Organized Labor and the Political Economy of Product Market Distortions," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 11(2), pages 327-55, May.
  38. Sanyal, Paroma & Menon, Nidhiya, 2005. "Labor Disputes and the Economics of Firm Geography: A Study of Domestic Investment in India," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(4), pages 825-54, July.
  39. Ann Harrison, 2006. "Globalization and Poverty," NBER Working Papers 12347, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  40. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Process of Global Integration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 1-118.
  41. Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Nina Pavcnik, 2004. "Trade, Inequality, and Poverty: What Do We Know? Evidence from Recent Trade Liberalization Episodes in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 10593, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  42. Tybout, James & de Melo, Jamie & Corbo, Vittorio, 1991. "The effects of trade reforms on scale and technical efficiency : New evidence from Chile," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3-4), pages 231-250, November.
  43. repec:rus:hseeco:122439 is not listed on IDEAS
  44. Joshi, Vijay & Little, I. M. D, 1996. "India's Economic Reforms, 1991-2001," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198290780, December.
  45. Krueger, Anne O., 1995. "Policy lessons from development experience since the Second World War," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 40, pages 2497-2550 Elsevier.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. The Unequal Effects of Liberalization: Evidence from Dismantling the License Raj in India (AER 2008) in ReplicationWiki

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5492. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.