ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Valuable Collection on the Indian Economy

The Oxford Handbook of the Indian Economy edited by Chetan Ghate (New Delhi: Oxford University Press), 2012; pp 984, Rs 4,995 (hardback).

India has turned from being a development failure to a place of development possibilities (it is still far from being a development success). To mark this transition, Chetan Ghate, of the Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi, collaborating with Oxford University Press, has painstakingly and impressively put together a collection of 31 academic and policy essays on India’s economic development. The Oxford Handbook that contains them will adorn many a bookshelf and library. Ghate deserves kudos for providing what is really an intellectual public good (which is always under-supplied) for scholarship on Indian economic development.

This reader neither has the breadth of expertise nor is the audience captive enough for this review to discuss all the contributions in this handbook; and comprehensiveness is one of its virtues. The essays are organised under seven broad headings: history, poverty, industrialisation, social infrastructure, politics, macroeconomics, and the external sector. Unsurprisingly, there is some repetition and the essays are of varying quality, length, focus and analytical sophistication. For sure, not all essays will have the same shelf life.

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