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

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Growth and Polarisation Changes in Wealth Inequality in a Tamil Nadu Village

Inequality in a Tamil Nadu Village Madhura Swaminathan This paper examines the changes in the distribution of wealth in a relatively advanced, modern and commercialised Tamil Nadu village over the period 1977-85. Two characteristics of the village that motivate the enquiry are (a) the occurrence of some growth in the economy, and (b) the implementation of a major anti-poverty policy that entails the creation of assets in the hands of poor households. The analysis of changes in inequality in the distribution of household assets among a set of village households indicates an extremely high degree of inequality in both years, which worsened over the study period. Further decomposition of inequality brings out the major role of land ownership in the observed rise in inequality. A combination of growth and redistributive policy failed to stem the process of polarisation in this village economv.

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