Growth, Reforms and Inequality: Comparing India and China
in Amiya K. Bagchi and Anthony P. D’Costa (eds), Transformation and Development: the political economy of transition in India and China (New Delhi: Oxford University Press: 2012), 173-198
Posted: 10 Jul 2016
Date Written: 2012
This paper investigates the striking phenomenon of prosperity and inequality in India and China since the late 1980s. In particular, it undertakes a comparative analysis of changes in the pattern and distribution of income and expenditure as captured by the Gini coefficient, as well as its social, spatial and temporal dimensions. For India, we find that increasing urban-rural disparity and rising urban inequality are the most important aspects of uneven economic growth. In addition, the data shows growing inter-state inequality, and reveals that growth and inequality have become intertwined. For China, our analysis reveals increasing within-group inequality in rural and urban sectors; a decline in between-group inequality; and the growth of acute urban-rural disparities. These findings confirm the need for both countries to devise urgent measures that can tackle these rising economic inequalities – particularly the urban-rural divide – if they wish to maintain greater national prosperity without creating social upheaval.
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