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

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The Role of Inequality and Growth in Determining Social Outcomes

The impact of inequality in hindering social outcomes is discussed. Although it may appear on the basis of limited data, in the Indian context, that growth alone is the main driver in improving social outcomes, including poverty reduction; and that increased inequality that is a by-product of the Indian non-inclusive growth process does not hinder social development, such a conclusion advanced recently in the Economic Survey 2020–21 is based on possibly insufficient analysis of the data. It is demonstrated that the apparent favourable association, which is counter-intuitive, between income inequality measures and social outcomes, is possibly due to both being associated with growth and could therefore be revealing a spurious relationship when considered in isolation.

Migrant Workers from West Bengal since 1991

The in and out balance of migration in West Bengal, for the first time, was recorded negative in the 2000s, and it is estimated to have gotten worse in the 2010s. Based on estimates, more people migrated out than entered the state in the 2010s compared to the 2000s. Though the crisis started towards the end of the left regime, it has worsened under the Trinamool Congress government. The article provides insights into labour migration, unemployment and economic growth during 1991–2018.

A Framework for the Analysis of State–Society Relations

Class and Conflict: Revisiting Pranab Bardhan’s Political Economy of India edited by Elizabeth Chatterjee and Matthew McCartney , New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2020; pp x + 299, £47.99 (hb).

Inflation and Terms-of-trade

This paper argues that, over the longer run, the intertemporal path of inflation in an economy is affected by secular changes in the inter-sectoral terms-of-trade, which in turn, is closely linked to the stages of structural change. This linkage is investigated through simple devices of consumer choice and growth. Results imply that monetary authorities’ inflation targets should optimally account for such secular changes in the terms-of-trade, over and above the terms-of-trade shocks observed typically in developing economies.

Growth Transitions in India

Growth has consistently remained a central topic in economic policy considerations of the government in India. However, there has also been a more scholarly interest in it among social scientists. As a part of the latter tradition, this paper addresses the proper delineation of the phases of growth in India, a matter of some discussion in the literature. Using state-of-the-art statistical methodology, it first establishes the trajectory of growth and then provides a theoretical explanation for that history. With data spanning the period 1950–2020, the procedure adopted is also able to assess the impact on economic growth of the policies of the present government. The results are conclusive. First, it is established that growth in India has accelerated continuously since the 1950s, implying that dynamism in the economy did not have to wait for the liberalising reforms launched in 1991. Next, the performance of India’s economy is compared to growth that has taken place in the rest of the world. It is seen that while India’s economy has, in recent years, shown a dynamism relative to the rest of the world, it has consistently fallen behind its most dynamic regions, notably in East Asia.

Understanding India’s Gilded Age

The Billionaire Raj: A Journey through India’s New Gilded Age by James Crabtree, Noida: Harper Collins, 2018; pp 358 + xxv, ` 799.

Rural Economic Growth and Emerging Pattern of Rural Towns

The two features of structural transformation visible in India are an increase in the overall gross domestic product and per capita incomes, enabled by the shift away from agriculture to other sectors or occupations with higher productivity; and greater urbanisation. An attempt is made to examine the emergence of small towns or urbanised villages in Gujarat and Rajasthan. The states depict a disparate pattern of rural economic transformation and varying levels of urbanisation. The emerging urban hierarchy is contextualised within the process of economic growth and transition, and the composition of urban growth along with the locational features of the emerging towns are studied. The underlying causes responsible for the nature of urban growth in the two states highlight the need for a regional focus of policy.

From Developing to Developed Nations

The Art of Economic Catch-up: Barriers, Detours and Leapfrogging in Innovation Systems by Keun Lee, Cambridge, New York, Port Melbourne, New Delhi and Singapore: Cambridge University Press, 2019; pp xxiii + 279, price not indicated.

East Asia’s Paths to Industrialisation and Prosperity

Resurgent Asia: Diversity in Development by Deepak Nayyar, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2019; pp xx + 295, ₹ 895. Asian Transformations: An Inquiry into the Development of Nations edited by Deepak Nayyar, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019; pp xxiv + 577, price not indicated. Asia’s Journey to Prosperity: Policy, Market, and Technology Over 50 Years by Asian Development Bank, Manila: ADB, 2020 (ebook), http://dx.doi.org/10.22617/TCS190290 .

Present Crises of Capitalism and Its Reforms

In exploring whether capitalism is an appropriate economic system for a country like India, this paper finds that its future prospects and long-run viability, in general, are delimited by the accentuating threats of ecological imbalance and growing inequality that it brings with itself.

Key Drivers of Indian Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The underlying drivers of changes in the greenhouse gas emissions over time in India are investigated using several complementary approaches. Emission projections are developed based on India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions and compared with a range of emission scenarios. Projections show continued economic growth that leads to rising energy use, with per capita emissions possibly increasing by 40% by 2030, although new technologies may reduce energy consumption and emissions growth. To slow down emissions’ growth further will require strong decarbonisation of the energy sector.

An Imbalanced Ecosystem

The rapid development of various institutions supporting company creation in India has the potential to generate economic growth, innovation, and economic development. However, this article shows that the start-up ecosystem has unevenly developed across cities and economic sectors, and has failed to empower the overall population, so far. Using a comprehensive database on start-ups retrieved from Tracxn, a business data and analytics company, the authors find that venture capital concentrates amongst graduates stemming from a handful of prestigious education institutes in India and abroad. The article analyses the role of entrepreneurship policies and argues for a shift of focus and resources towards the building of a more inclusive start-up ecosystem.

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