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

Articles by Debosree BanerjeeSubscribe to Debosree Banerjee

Is Inequality the Unstated Constraint on India’s Growth?

The study of economic growth in India has tended to be dominated by discussions on the effects of policies associated with liberalisation. Consequently, several other questions that are important to India’s growth story have not received adequate attention. This paper looks at two such questions: How does India determine how much it must save for growth? And who bears the burden of these savings through constraints on their consumption? This paper seeks answers to these questions from the experience of the post-independence Indian economy. In the process, it captures the part that inequality has played in generating the savings required for India’s rapid growth since the mid-1980s, a role that it is no longer in a position to play.

Towards the Instrumentality of Inequality

What has been the nature of work and discourse on inequality in India? Has it been more anecdotal and ordinal? Does it sidestep the conceptual and refl ective? Is it an elite discourse even within the subaltern? Does it remain blind to both the subtleties and the macro forces that generate, fuel, and reproduce the condition of inequality? And importantly, has it seriously considered the issue of what inequality does to those at the margins? The recent Dadabhai Naoroji conference at NIAS, on the instrumentality of inequality raised these conceptual, ethical, and practical dimensions of inequality.

Poverty and Deprivation in India

Building on the asset-based indicator, this paper estimates deprivation in India. The results suggest that there is a difference in the regional ranking of poverty based on the long-term picture of vulnerability provided by the asset-based indicator of deprivation. It also shows that while consumption poverty could identify the poor as a group, it cannot identify who among the poor are suffering from long-term deprivation, thus seeking a prompt policy attention.


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