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The Political Economy of Development: A Critical Assessment of Balochistan, Pakistan


  • Ahmed, Manzoor
  • Baloch, Akhtar


This study aims at examining the political economy of the province of Balochistan, Pakistan and the underlying causes of social and economic under-development of the province. After presenting a brief and critical account on the historical development of the people of Balochistan, the paper argues that the province of Balochistan notwithstanding having a huge and resourceful land has failed to keep the pace of socio-economic development and modernity with other fellow provinces in the federation of Pakistan. After the independence of Pakistan and the formation of Balochistan as a province of, the people of Balochistan because of their political disorganization and segregation and economic backwardness failed to exert them within the political economy realm of Pakistan in order to grab their due resource share. The saga of economic and social backwardness of Balochistan province is a multifaceted puzzle. A section of the Balochistan political elite and scholars believe that the centralist nature of Pakistani federation is such that small nationalities like the Baloch and Pashtoon would find it hard to get their due share within the federation. That is because, the resource distribution and representation to both elected bodies and state institutions are based upon population, and Balochistan in spite of having 44% of Pakistan territory accommodates only 5% of country’s total population, whereas, another section is in the view that the nature of geo-economics and historical perspective of the province hinder the pace of economic development. The paper also touches the geostrategic importance of Balochistan and underlines its economic difficulty in terms of the dearth of human resources, physical infrastructure, economic autonomy, and productivity among others.

Suggested Citation

  • Ahmed, Manzoor & Baloch, Akhtar, 2017. "The Political Economy of Development: A Critical Assessment of Balochistan, Pakistan," MPRA Paper 80754, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 25 Jul 2017.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:80754

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ben Lockwood, 2002. "Distributive Politics and the Costs of Centralization," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(2), pages 313-337.
    2. M. Asghar Zaidi & Klaas De Vos, 1993. "Research on Poverty Statistics in Pakistan Some Sensitivity Analyses," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 32(4), pages 1171-1186.
    3. Harvey, David, 2005. "The New Imperialism," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199278084.
    4. Zahid Hasnain, 2008. "The Politics of Service Delivery in Pakistan: Political Parties and the Incentives for Patronage, 1988-1999," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 47(2), pages 129-151.
    5. Weingast, Barry R & Shepsle, Kenneth A & Johnsen, Christopher, 1981. "The Political Economy of Benefits and Costs: A Neoclassical Approach to Distributive Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 642-664, August.
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    More about this item


    Political Economy; Development; Resource Distribution; Balochistan; Pakistan;

    JEL classification:

    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • K30 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - General
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

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