The Unchanging Profile of Development: A Historical Study of the Punjab 1961-2008
Lahore School of Economics - Center for Research in Economics and Business
December 1, 2010
Pakistan Development Review, Vol. 49, No. 4 (2010), Special Edition
This paper aims to examine the spatial patterns of development in Punjab over the past five decades. The intention is to study the importance of initial conditions as driving forces of development and to deduce the contributing factors that provide the necessary push to break away from the low development trap. A longitudinal analysis will be conducted to assist in understanding several aspects of development such as whether the welfare status of a region has improved, worsened or remained stagnant over time, how have the regions within Punjab performed relative to each other and what are the causes for their differential performances, and have urban centers had any positive spillovers on the peripheral regions? A development index will be created from a selection of indicators from three sectors: education, health and living standards. The index will serve as a proxy for the level of development and assist in making comparisons over space and time. The data is taken from the Population Census Reports, the Punjab Development Statistics and the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2007-08. From the results, a clear north-south divide within Punjab has been observed, such that the northern and north-central districts consistently display higher development levels in comparison with the southern and western districts. The socioeconomic conditions prevailing in 1961 seem to persist even today. The need is to formulate well-targeted strategic and financial policies at the district level that can thrust the districts forward and accelerate the lagging development process.
Keywords: Development, inequality, Punjab, Pakistan
JEL Classification: B13
Date posted: October 11, 2013