This volume investigates the nature of economic growth in India, its pace over time, its relationship to changes in the policy regime and the role of the external sector, and uses data to evaluate the policies that have implicitly underpinned the changes. Presenting a range of approaches, views and conclusions, this collection comprises papers from the Economic and Political Weekly that are marked by an empirical awareness necessary for an understanding of a growth history. The articles reflect a certain groundedness in their approach in that they privilege content/context over methodology.
The introduction outlines the importance of putting together the writings of almost a decade on the subject, explains why the issue of development is conspicuous by its absence, and presents this book as a complement to studies addressing a wider set of issues around the economy since 1990.
The book is thematically divided into five sections. The first two are macroscopic in nature, focusing on the overall economic growth. While section one provides an overview, of the subject, attributing causes and delineating the phases of economic growth, the papers in the second section are largely statistical and reflect the progress made by econometricians in devising estimation methodologies. The two sections identify growth regimes and structural breaks in the Indian economy.
The third section focuses on sectoral performances, in particular agricultural and industrial growth, intersectoral linkages, the role of trade and capital flows, and the sources of growth of India’s exports before and after economic reforms. Section four presents data and analyses of inter-state variations in economic growth and regional inequality. The last section analyses the political economy of growth in India. It throws light on the systemic implications of socio-economic changes, their effect on the poor, and the relationship between economic growth and social development.
This volume is an important addition to the literature on post-liberalisation economic growth in India. It will be useful to students and scholars of economics and management.
Pulapre Balakrishnan is Director, Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram.