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Economic reforms: Policy and institutions some lessons from Indian reforms

  • Arvind Virmani

    ()

    (Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations)

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    Economic policy and policy reform over the last few decades has been motivated by the need to accelerate growth or equivalently to reverse a decline in growth rate. The economic literature on the determinants of growth has burgeoned and disagreement has followed consensus on the policy prescriptions that need to befollowed to achieve this purpose. Sometimes the disagreement is exaggerated by the titans of the profession, so as to distinguish themselves from those constituting the conventional wisdom. The present paper moves the focus from this "macro"debate to concrete issues of policy formulation and policy change and explores the links between policy and institutions in the context of economic reforms. Thus successful introduction of new policies may require new institutions and the degree of success in changing policies may depend on the degree to which existing institutions are modified. The literature on Institutions and Development has dealt with questions of grand design such as the Constitution, the rule of law (personal safety), property rights and informal rules embodied in culture. These are matters that happen on a timescale of a quarter/half century or more and can be thought of as the "superstructure" of institutions. The quantitative work on institutions and growth has explored the linkage between these institutional issues and economic growth. In the current paper we focus on what may be called the "microstructure" of institutions, a smaller scale at which change can occur over a time frame of decades (or half decades). Among the issues that a rise in this context are how changing institutions requirechanges in policies.

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    File URL: http://www.icrier.org/pdf/wp121.pdf
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    Paper provided by Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, New Delhi, India in its series Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, New Delhi Working Papers with number 121.

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    Length: 86 pages
    Date of creation: Jan 2004
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ind:icrier:121
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    1. Ricardo J. Caballero & Mohamad L. Hammour, 2001. "Creative Destruction and Development : Institutions, Crises and Restructuring," DELTA Working Papers 2001-04, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
    2. Rodrik, Dani, 2003. "Growth Strategies," CEPR Discussion Papers 4100, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Federico Bonaglia & Jorge Braga de Macedo & Maurizio Bussolo, 2001. "How Globalisation Improves Governance," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 181, OECD Publishing.
    4. Oliver E. Williamson, 2000. "The New Institutional Economics: Taking Stock, Looking Ahead," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 595-613, September.
    5. Aron, Janine, 2000. "Growth and Institutions: A Review of the Evidence," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 15(1), pages 99-135, February.
    6. Dufwenberg, Martin & Guth, Werner, 1999. "Indirect evolution vs. strategic delegation: a comparison of two approaches to explaining economic institutions," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 281-295, June.
    7. Demsetz, Harold, 1969. "Information and Efficiency: Another Viewpoint," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(1), pages 1-22, April.
    8. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2003. "Unbundling Institutions," NBER Working Papers 9934, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Virmani, Arvind, 1988. "Tax Reform in Developing Countries: Issues, Policies, and Information Gaps," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 43(1), pages 19-38.
    10. Kenneth J. Arrow, 2000. "Economic Transition: Speed and Scope," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 156(1), pages 9-, March.
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