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Polarization, inequality and growth: The Indian experience

Author

Listed:
  • Sripad Motiram

    () (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai)

  • Nayantara Sarma

    () (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai)

Abstract

We analyze polarization in India roughly in the past two and half decades using consumption expenditure data. We show that both bipolarization and multidimensional polarization (on several dimensions: caste, rural-urban, state, region) have increased since the 1990s. In the case of bipolarization, this is a reversal from the earlier trend (in the 1980s). Overall, our results suggest that the high growth that India has been witnessing since the 1990s has 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," Working Papers 225, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  • Handle: RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2011-225
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    File URL: http://www.ecineq.org/milano/WP/ECINEQ2011-225.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jean-Yves Duclos & Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2004. "Polarization: Concepts, Measurement, Estimation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(6), pages 1737-1772, November.
    2. Juan G. Rodríguez & Rafael Salas, "undated". "Extended Bi-Polarization And Inequality Measures," Working Papers 10-03 Classification-JEL , Instituto de Estudios Fiscales.
    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. 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.
    6. 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.
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    1. repec:eee:wdevel:v:104:y:2018:i:c:p:154-172 is not listed 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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