Regional Inequality in India: A Fresh Look
There are concerns that regional inequality in India has increased after the economic reforms of 1991. This concern is supported by various statistical analyses. In this paper, we show that the conclusions are sensitive to what measures of attainment are used. In particular, human development indices do not show the same increase in regional inequality. Furthermore, looking at consumption and credit indicators for regions disaggregated below the state level also suggests that inequality trends may not be as bad as suggested by State Domestic Product data, although the greater strength of the economies of the western and southern states emerges in our results. Finally, we briefly discuss policy implications within the context of India’s evolving federal polity.
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