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

  • Rodrik, Dani

    (Harvard U)

  • Subramanian, Arvind

    (International Monetary Fund)

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 occured around 1980, a full decade before economic liberalization. We investigate a number of hypotheses about the causes of this growth (favorable 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. We also find that registered manufacturing built up in previous decades played an important role in influencing the pattern of growth across the Indian states.

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Paper provided by Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government in its series Working Paper Series with number rwp04-013.

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Date of creation: Mar 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp04-013
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  1. 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.
  2. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Wing Thye Woo, 2000. "Understanding china's economic performance," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(1), pages 1-50.
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  13. 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..
  14. 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, March.
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  16. Kohli, Atul, 1989. "Politics of economic liberalization in India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 305-328, March.
  17. repec:rus:hseeco:123558 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Rodrik, Dani, 2003. "Growth Strategies," CEPR Discussion Papers 4100, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. 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.
  20. BAI, Jushan & PERRON, Pierre, 1998. "Computation and Analysis of Multiple Structural-Change Models," Cahiers de recherche 9807, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  21. 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.
  22. Bulent Unel, 2003. "Productivity Trends in India's Manufacturing Sectors in the Last Two Decades," IMF Working Papers 03/22, International Monetary Fund.
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