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Polarization, inequality and growth: The Indian experience

Author

Listed:
  • Sripad Motiram

    () (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research)

  • Nayantara Sarma

    (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research)

Abstract

We analyze polarization in India roughly in the past two and half decades using consumption expenditure data. We show that polarization has increased sharply since the 1990s, reversing the earlier trend. On multidimensional polarization, we show that several pre-existing cleavages (caste, rural-urban, state, region) have accentuated. Overall, our results suggest that the high growth that India has been witnessing in recent years and the pro-market reforms initiated since 1990s have been associated with widening disparities. Comparing polarization and inequality, we find similarities, but also some differences. Our results therefore underscore the importance of studying polarization as distinct from traditional inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Sripad Motiram & Nayantara Sarma, 2011. "Polarization, inequality and growth: The Indian experience," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2011-011, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
  • Handle: RePEc:ind:igiwpp:2011-011
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    File URL: http://www.igidr.ac.in/pdf/publication/WP-2011-011.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Juan G. Rodríguez & Rafael Salas, "undated". "Extended Bi-Polarization And Inequality Measures," Working Papers 10-03 Classification-JEL , Instituto de Estudios Fiscales.
    2. Chakravarty, Satya R & Majumder, Amita, 2001. "Inequality, Polarisation and Welfare: Theory and Applications," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 1-13, March.
    3. X. Zhang & R. Kanbur, 2001. "What Difference Do Polarisation Measures Make? An Application to China," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(3), pages 85-98.
    4. Jayadev, Arjun & Reddy, Sanjay G., 2011. "Inequalities between Groups: Theory and Empirics," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 159-173, February.
    5. Marx, Karl, 1867. "Capital: A Critique of Political Economy (I): The Process of Capitalist Production," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 1, number marx1867.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Polarization; Inequality; Growth in India;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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