ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Patterns of Wealth Disparities in India during the Liberalisation Era

This paper examines patterns of wealth disparities in India using the all-India debt and investment surveys (1991 and 2002). We find that there have been increases in wealth levels in the country across virtually all groupings, accompanied by a small but perceptible rise in the level of interpersonal wealth inequality, whether examined by summary measures such as the Gini coefficient or by centile shares of wealth. We examine differences in wealth holdings by state and income in the two surveys as well as disparities according to socio-economic categories in 2002. There have been sharp differences in the growth rates of wealth holdings in the middle and upper income states on the one hand and poor states on the other, suggesting divergence in wealth outcomes. Faster growing states have seen larger increases in wealth inequality. Finally, there are large differences in the levels of wealth holdings according to socio-economic categories.

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