Capitalist Development in India's Informal Economy: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Capitalist Development in India's Informal Economy

1st Edition

By Elisabetta Basile


230 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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This book explores the economy and society of Provincial India in the post-Green Revolution period. It argues that the low 'quality' of capital development in India's villages and small towns is the joint outcome of the informal economic organisation, that is strongly biased in favour of capital, and of the complex stratification of the workforce along class and caste lines.

Focusing on the processes of growth induced by the introduction of the high-yield varieties in agriculture, the book demonstrates that a low-road pattern of capitalist development has been emerging in provincial India: firms compete over price and not over efficiency, with a constant pressure to reduce costs, in particular labour costs. The book shows that low-skilled employment prevails and low wages and poor working conditions are widespread.

Based on original empirical research, the book makes a valuable contribution to the debate on varieties of capitalism, in particular of the Global South. It is of interest to academics working in the fields of Development Studies, Political Economy and South Asian Studies.


"[…] a must for whoever is interested in the (bleak) reality of Indian development, but a crucially important addition to the panoply of methodological tools at the disposal of social scientists working on India." - The International Spectator

"…the book by Elisabetta Basile enlarges our understanding of

India’s contemporary capitalism. Relying on a robust theoretical framework and developing an

in-depth empirical analysis, the author disentangles the processes of socio-economic change,

as well as the structures and relations that have been supporting rural non-farm growth."

Christine Lutringer

European Journal of Development Research (2015) 27, 623–624

Table of Contents

1. The complexity of capitalist development in Provincial India Part 1: Analysing Non-Farm Capitalism in Provincial India 2. A Marxist/Institutionalist framework for the analysis of contemporary capitalism 3. Introducing non-farm capitalism in Provincial India 4. Exploring class structure in Provincial India 5. Caste-based interest representation and the hegemony of capital in India’s civil society Part 2: A Marxist/Institutionalist Analysis of Capitalism in Arni 6. Long-term change in Arni’s economy 7. Institutional and spatial embeddedness in Arni’s silk economy 8. Capital’s hegemony in Arni’s corporatist civil society 9. The low road of capitalism

About the Author

Elisabetta Basile is Professor of Applied Economics in the Faculty of Economics at the University of Rome, Italy. She is co-convenor of the Europe-Asia Working Group of the European Association of Development and Training Institutions (EADI), and has worked extensively on capitalist change in Europe and in India.

About the Series

Routledge Contemporary South Asia Series

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Economic Development
HISTORY / Asia / India & South Asia
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General