Trevor Swan and Indian Planning: The Lessons of 1958/59

37 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2017

See all articles by Selwyn Cornish

Selwyn Cornish

Australian National University (ANU) - Faculty of Economics & Commerce

Raghbendra Jha

Australian National University (ANU) - Australia South Asia Research Centre (ASARC); Crawford School of Public Policy

Date Written: November 10, 2016

Abstract

Trevor Swan is commonly considered to be Australia’s most distinguished economist. As part of a visiting professorship at MIT during 1958-59 he spent nine months in India to assist in the formulation of India’s third five year plan and to contribute to the development of India’s premier research institutions. This paper provides an account of his work in New Delhi. Swan’s closest associates were Pitambar Pant from the Indian Planning Commission and Ian Little who was visiting from Oxford. Swan was of the view that India’s economic problems should be clearly understood and the best policy measures to address these should be devised. This varied considerably from the practice of central planning and state control being practiced in India at that time. Swan was unable to influence the direction of economic policy in India but the economy’s subsequent performance would vindicate Swan’s views on how economic development policy should have been conducted.

Keywords: I Ndia, Trevor Swan, Ian Little, Pitambar Pant, Five Year Plans, MIT Project, Ford Foundation

JEL Classification: B19, B31, O10, O21

Suggested Citation

Cornish, Selwyn and Jha, Raghbendra, Trevor Swan and Indian Planning: The Lessons of 1958/59 (November 10, 2016). Crawford School Research Paper No. 2016/19, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3044988 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3044988

Selwyn Cornish

Australian National University (ANU) - Faculty of Economics & Commerce ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601
Australia

Raghbendra Jha (Contact Author)

Australian National University (ANU) - Australia South Asia Research Centre (ASARC) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia
+61 2 6125 2683 (Phone)
+61 2 6125 0443 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://crawford.anu.edu.au/crawford_people/content/staff/acde/rjha.php

Crawford School of Public Policy

ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
J.G. Crawford Building, #132, Lennox Crossing
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

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