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date: 26 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines two puzzling trends that have characterized India’s economic growth. The first is how and why the political economy of development in India discarded an earlier model of import-substitution industrialization that was widely supported by the country’s dominant proprietary groups. The second is why, despite India’s economic success, poor people have remained mired in extreme poverty compared to China and some other countries in East and Southeast Asia. The article begins by looking at India’s economic development between 1950 and 1980 and then turns to economic reforms pursued by various governments. It also considers some of the factors that led India to embrace a more concerted agenda of pro-market reforms in the 1990s, including the economic crisis of 1990–1991 and elite politics.

Keywords: India, economic growth, political economy, import substitution, industrialisation, poverty, economic reforms, economic crisis, elite politics, economic development

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