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

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Economic Reforms and Poverty

In the context of the ongoing debate in India about the possible impact of the economic reforms since July 1991 on poverty, this paper provides the available evidence from the National Sample Surveys conducted during 1991 (July- December) and 1992 (January-December). Contrary to the a priori expectations, there was a sharp increase in rural poverty whereas only a moderate rise took place in urban poverty. Based on the examination of the factors governing rural and urban poverty and the supplementary empirical evidence, the paper reaches the conclusion that the economic reforms-related decisions contributed indirectly rather than being the only or the major cause of the sharp acceleration of rural poverty during the period under consideration.

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