Did Economic Reforms Affect Manufacturing Productivity in India?
32 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2020 Last revised: 27 Jul 2023
Date Written: January 29, 2020
India has witnessed a series of policy reforms since 1991, which aimed to increase productivity of the manufacturing sector. Did these reforms increase productivity in manufacturing plants? We address this question using rich data from the Annual Survey of Industries in India spanning three decades from 1983-84 to 2012-13. We focus on three reforms: delicensing, allowing foreign direct investments, and tariff reduction. We find no systematic or significant impact of the reforms on plant-level productivity in manufacturing. This result holds whether we look at the reforms individually using a difference-in-difference technique or simultaneously using fixed effects. Productivity is correlated with plant size, industry concentration, and misallocation, but we find that the reforms had no significant effect on any of these channels. This sheds light on why the economic reforms in India may have failed to impact productivity.
Keywords: Productivity, Manufacturing, India, Reforms, Size, Misallocation, Competition, Delicensing, Foreign Direct Investment, Tariffs
JEL Classification: L11, O11, O25, O40, O53
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