1st Edition

India - The Political Economy of Growth, Stagnation and the State, 1951-2007

ISBN 9780415673600
Published August 10, 2011 by Routledge
308 Pages

USD $62.95

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Book Description

Understanding the drivers and inhibitors of economic growth is critical for promoting development in less developed countries, including India. This book examines economic growth in India from 1951 to the present, challenging many accepted orthodox views. It argues that growth and stagnation should be considered over the medium term, and that the precise role of the state – in relation to particular historical and political-economic circumstances – is more important than the overall level of state involvement or disengagement. The book uses an empirical approach to contend that the state has an important role in several key areas including: mobilising a surplus; allocating the surplus in an efficient way to productive investment projects; and in building institutions (including political parties) through which conflict can managed between the different losers and rent-seekers affected by economic changes. It shows how, over time and in periods of growth and stagnation, the state in India has acted in key areas, and how the actions of the state has had a profound impact on economic outcomes. Overall, the book makes a major contribution to understanding the economic history of development in India and to understanding the role of the state in economic development more generally.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction  2. A Methodological Critique and Framework  3. Empirical Framework  4. A Theoretical Framework  5. The Role of the State and the Episode of Growth in India, 1951/52 to 1964/65  6. The Role of the State and the Episode of Stagnation in India, 1965/66 to 1979/80  7. The Role of the State and the Episode of Growth in India, 1979/80 to 1991  8. The Role of the State and the Episode of Growth in India, 1991 to 2007  9. Conclusion.  Bibliography.

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Matthew McCartney is a Lecturer in Economics (specialising in South Asia) at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, UK.


"McCartney’s book is extremely ambitious.  It attempts to analyse the growth performance of the Indian economy over the entire period since independence. The book is exceptionally well presented and outstandingly well argued.  Despite the massive analytical content of the book McCartney manages to achieve a near impossible task of combining a rich, well structured empirical investigation of an immensely complex piece of economic history with a convincing attempt to apply a novel analytical framework to that experience." - Professor Peter Nolan, University of Cambridge

"The book is an impressive piece of work.  It considers a wide range of readings, both theoretically and empirically, and produces a well founded empirical analysis." - Dr Jens Lerche, SOAS, University of London