Regional Inequality in India in the 1990s: A District-Level View

13 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2017

See all articles by Nirvikar Singh

Nirvikar Singh

University of California, Santa Cruz

Jake Kendall

University of Washington, CSE

R. K. Jain

Government of India - Reserve Bank of India

Jai Chander

Government of India - Reserve Bank of India

Date Written: December 18, 2013

Abstract

This paper examines changes in regional inequality in India in the 1990s, using data for 210 of India’s districts, spread across nine states. It provides a finer-grained quantitative analysis of growth patterns than has hitherto been attempted for India. The methodology is that of cross-section growth regressions, which seek to explain longer-run growth rates in terms of initial conditions of development. By identifying these connections, the study seeks to illuminate the role of aspects of physical infrastructure, financial development and human capital in influencing regional patterns of growth. In turn, this may have implications for government policies at the national and state levels. We find no evidence for divergence, but evidence for growth convergence in some cases, dependent on initial conditions. The district level results are supportive of the importance of literacy, and access to finance and roads. The methodology can be used to identify districts which may require additional policy intervention along these dimensions, as well as districts where the performance is worse than the average, even after conditioning on development measures, suggesting other causes of backwardness.

Keywords: regional inequality, growth convergen ce, economic reform, inclusive growth

JEL Classification: O18, O47, O53, R12

Suggested Citation

Singh, Nirvikar and Kendall, Jake and Jain, R. K. and Chander, Jai, Regional Inequality in India in the 1990s: A District-Level View (December 18, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3039172 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3039172

Nirvikar Singh (Contact Author)

University of California, Santa Cruz ( email )

Department of Economics
E2 Building
Santa Cruz, CA 95064
United States
831-459-4093 (Phone)
831-459-5077 (Fax)

Jake Kendall

University of Washington, CSE ( email )

Seattle, WA 98195
United States

R. K. Jain

Government of India - Reserve Bank of India

Bakery Junction Service Road
Vazhuthacaud
Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695033
India

Jai Chander

Government of India - Reserve Bank of India ( email )

Mumbai
Mumbai, Kerala
India

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