Post-Independence India’s diverse economy witnessed major changes in the 1990s, most of which were aimed at changing the industrial landscape. As the control and command of the state were diluted, competitive market conditions were expected to take their place and enhance output growth in the manufacturing sector.
Hastening Slowly is a comprehensive analysis of the changes in the market structure and performance of Indian manufacturing industries since the onset of these policy changes. With in-depth analyses of market structure, market power and performance, competition and entry barriers, regional industrial growth patterns, and econometric substantiation, the author argues that market power does exist. The author also identifies and quantifies the major entry barriers—the biggest hindrance to the competitive process—strategically erected by firms in the Indian context.
Finally, the book briefly studies the productivity of major industries and regional inequality in the manufacturing sector. The author shows that there has been no substantial improvement in productivity, and that inequality across regions is widening. He also shows that unorganised manufacturing has performed better than organised manufacturing.
This meticulously-researched work, applicable not only to India but to any late industrialising country, is a pertinent contribution to the literature on economic policy and thought. Students and scholars of economics, management studies and development studies will find the book interesting.
M. Suresh Babu is Associate Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.
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List of abbreviations
Foreword by K. L. Krishna