DP4371 | From 'Hindu Growth' to Productivity Surge: The Mystery of the Indian Growth Transition

Publication Date

23/04/2004

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Abstract

Most conventional accounts of India?s recent economic performance associate the pick-up in economic growth with the liberalization of 1991. This Paper demonstrates that the transition to high growth occurred around 1980, a full decade before economic liberalization. We investigate a number of hypotheses about the causes of this growth ? favourable external environment, fiscal stimulus, trade liberalization, internal liberalization, the green revolution, public investment ? and find them wanting. We argue that growth was triggered by an attitudinal shift on the part of the national government towards a pro-business (as opposed to pro-liberalization) approach. We provide some evidence that is consistent with this argument.