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Identifying the economic potential of Indian districts

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  • Roberts,Mark

Abstract

Despite its rapid growth in recent decades, GDP per capita in India remains at a relatively low level by international standards, and the country continues to be marked by large subnational disparities in levels of well-being. These large disparities naturally lead to interest in India?s spatial landscape of potential for economic development. Against this backdrop, this paper presents the results of an analysis of underlying variations in economic potential across Indian districts, where economic potential is defined as the extent to which a district possesses factors that are important determinants of the ability to experience a high level of productivity. The analysis is based on a simple composite Economic Potential Index, which is constructed from variables for which robust evidence exists of their importance as determinants of local productivity. From the analysis, a picture emerges of a heterogeneous landscape of economic potential characterized by strong geographic clustering of districts. The paper also reveals particularly high levels of underperformance, relative to potential, for districts in Uttar Pradesh.

Suggested Citation

  • Roberts,Mark, 2016. "Identifying the economic potential of Indian districts," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7623, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:7623
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ciccone, Antonio, 2002. "Agglomeration effects in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 213-227, February.
    2. Mark Roberts & Chor-ching Goh, 2011. "Density, distance and division: the case of Chongqing municipality, China," Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, Cambridge Political Economy Society, vol. 4(2), pages 189-204.
    3. Laura Hering & Sandra Poncet, 2010. "Market Access and Individual Wages: Evidence from China," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(1), pages 145-159, February.
    4. Laura Hering & Sandra Poncet, 2010. "Income Per Capita Inequality in China: The Role of Economic Geography and Spatial Interactions," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(5), pages 655-679, May.
    5. Abhijit Banerjee & Lakshmi Iyer, 2005. "History, Institutions, and Economic Performance: The Legacy of Colonial Land Tenure Systems in India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1190-1213, September.
    6. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-437.
    7. Mark Roberts, 2004. "The Growth Performances of the GB Counties: Some New Empirical Evidence for 1977-1993," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(2), pages 149-165.
    8. Lall,Somik V. & Gun Wang, Hyoung & Deichmann, Uwe, 2010. "Infrastructure and City Competitiveness in India," WIDER Working Paper Series 022, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    9. Wagner, Alfred, 1891. "Marshall's Principles of Economics," History of Economic Thought Articles, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, vol. 5, pages 319-338.
    10. Roberts, Mark & Deichmann, Uwe & Fingleton, Bernard & Shi, Tuo, 2012. "Evaluating China's road to prosperity: A new economic geography approach," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 580-594.
    11. Bosker, Maarten & Brakman, Steven & Garretsen, Harry & Schramm, Marc, 2012. "Relaxing Hukou: Increased labor mobility and China’s economic geography," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 252-266.
    12. Ana Isabel Moreno-Monroy, 2008. "The dynamics of spatial agglomeration in China: an empirical assessment," Economics Program Working Papers 08-06, The Conference Board, Economics Program.
    13. World Bank, 2013. "Urbanization beyond Municipal Boundaries : Nurturing Metropolitan Economies and Connecting Peri-Urban Areas in India," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13105, December.
    14. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nga Thi Viet Nguyen & Felipe F. Dizon, 2017. "The Geography of Welfare in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, and Togo," World Bank Other Operational Studies 27994, The World Bank.

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