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Hardcover | $10.75 Short | £9.95 | 328 pp. | 6 x 9 in | 17 illus. | February 2004 | ISBN: 9780262025560
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India's Emerging Economy

Performance and Prospects in the 1990s and Beyond
Edited by Kaushik Basu


India's economy over the last decade looks in many ways like a success story; after a major economic crisis in 1991, followed by bold reform measures, the economy has experienced a rapid economic growth rate, more foreign investment, and a boom in the information technology sector. Yet many in the country still suffer from crushing poverty, and social and political unrest remains a problem. These essays by leading academics, policymakers, and industrialists—including one by Amartya Sen, the 1998 winner of the Nobel Prize in economics for his work on poverty and inequality—examine the facts of India's recent economic successes and their social and cultural context.

India's rate of economic growth after the 1991 reforms were instituted reached a remarkable 7 percent for three consecutive years, from 1994 to 1997. Several contributors to India's Emerging Economy ask what this means for the nation as a whole. In his essay "Democracy and Secularism in India," Amartya Sen argues that economic progress is not the only way to measure a nation's performance. Other essays examine the actual effect India's economic growth has had on reducing poverty and recommend policies to empower the poor. Essays also address such issues as globalization and the vulnerabilities and opportunities it creates, India's experience with monetary and fiscal reform, the rapid growth of the information technology sector (including a case study of India's software industry), and India's grassroots economy.

About the Editor

Kaushik Basu is Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at the World Bank and Professor of Economics and C. Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell University. He is the author of Beyond the Invisible Hand: Groundwork for a New Economics.


“This assessment of reforms in the Indian economy is notable not just for the unusually impressive collection of top academics, entrepreneurs, bureaucrats and NGO representatives whose views are assembled here. The section on the IT sector provides insights on the most dynamic part of the economy. At the same time, it includes broader issues concerning the social and political fabric within which the Indian economy functions, such as inequality, allocation of public goods, social norms, the informal economy, democracy, and governance.”
Dilip Mookherjee, Professor of Economics, Boston University
India's Emerging Economy is a valuable collection of articles on India's economic performance in the 1990s. This is essential reading for the development scholar; indeed, I would recommend it to anyone with a serious interest in contemporary India.”
Debraj Ray, Julius Silver Professor of Economics, New York University