May 06, 2002
Jean Dreze Sounding Neoliberal

Development economist Jean Dreze sounding amazingly neoliberal--shrink the (corrupt and incompetent) state and grow the market--as he rips into India's Food Distribution Program.

Posted by DeLong at 03:12 PM

April 03, 2002
Mughal Emperors

Zahir-ud-din Babar 1525-1530 Muhammad Humayun 1530-1556 Jalal-ud-din Akbar 1556-1605 Salim Jehangir 1605-1627 Khurram Shah Jehan 1627-1658 (deposed) 1666 (died) Aurangzeb Alamgir 1658-1707 Muazzam Shah Alam I Bahadur Shah I 1707-1712 Jahandir Shah 1712-1713 Farrukhsiyar 1713-1719 Rafi-ud-Darajat 1719 Nekusiyar 1719 Shah Jehan II 1719 Muhammad Ibrahim 1719-1720 Muhammad Shah 1720-1748 Ahmad Shah 1748-1754 Alamgir II 1754-1759 Shah Alam II 1759-1806 Akbar Shah II 1806-1837 Bahadur Shah Zafar II 1837-1858 (deposed) 1862 (died) The later Mughals look even worse than the Wars of the Roses. Do children have to memorize all the reign dates?...

Posted by DeLong at 10:13 PM

Questions About India

Yet the more I think and learn, the less I think I know and understand about Indian economic development. There are fundamental and basic questions about which I am totally clueless...

Posted by DeLong at 04:05 PM

April 02, 2002
Indian Retail Politics

>> I would think that in any election-based political system the campaign slogan "they >>did it in Kerala, we can do it here if only we throw the rascals out" would be unstoppable. I would think that too, and we'd both be wrong. *G* I am not joking, though I wish I were. The first time my father contested the elections [he lost], I went campaigning. Talked to people and here is a rough transcript: X : The present MLA is so awful, he always treats us like dirt and does no work for us. R : Then don't vote for him this time then X : What difference does it make? R : Vote for someone who would treat you like a person and would actually listen to you. X : Nobody listens R : If you vote out enough rascals, the rest would have to listen, wouldn't they? X : Yes, but if he finds out... R : Tai, it is a secret ballot system. No one will find out and you can say anything when asked whom you voted for.. X : Yeah....that is true... At this point, I remember feeling a warm, golden glow. Then, X...

Posted by DeLong at 10:12 PM

March 03, 2002
India's Growth Acceleration

I'm spending more and more time thinking about the economic history of India recently, and winding up more and more puzzled. First, the speed with which growth accelerated in the mid-1980s after relatively small economic reforms under Rajiv Gandhi's regime--the last government of the Nehru dynasty--raises the possibility that the Rajiv Gandhi reforms were in some sense truly "strategic" for economic growth. Growth theory tells us that the speed of growth is proportional to the magnitude of the gap between the economy's current position and its steady-state growth path. The acceleration of growth in the mid-1980s suggests that a very large gap was opened by Rajiv Gandhi's reforms--that it shifted the economy's steady-state growth path upward by a remarkable amount. The lack of subsequent acceleration suggests that subsequent policy reforms have had much smaller long-run effects. Rajiv Gandhi focused on opening up financing for investment, and on freeing up the importation of capital goods. Are these truly strategic reforms for economic growth? How could we tell? Second, there is the remarkable disjunction between the rapid growth produced by small steps toward neoliberal policies since the mid-1980s, and the slow growth produced by thorough-going classical liberal policies before 1947. It is...

Posted by DeLong at 09:52 PM

Economic History of India

A review of Tirthankar Roy, _The Economic History of India 1857-1947_ Tirthankar Roy, _The Economic History of India 1857-1947_. Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2000. xiv + 318pp. Rs. 595 or $24.95 (cloth), ISBN: 0-19-565154-5. Reviewed for EH.NET by Santhi Hejeebu, Department of Economics and History, University of Iowa. Teachers of Indian economic history will welcome Tirthankar Roy's _Economic History of India 1857-1957_. Roy provides a chronological survey of the colonial economy by economic sector -- agriculture, small-scale industry, large-scale industry, plantations, mines, banking, and the public sector. The book also provides separate chapters on "the macroeconomy" and "population and labour force." In a heterodox field in which historical economists often find themselves defensive about their methods and struggling with a paucity of records, Roy offers a serious attempt to place the tools of economic analysis in the service of Indian history. The goal of his _Economic History of India_ is to convey to budding historians and economists how this might be done. Despite the fact that the survey covers the colonial period, Roy does not view the government of British India as the prime mover of the economy. This is most evident in his lucid discussion of the de-industrialization debate....

Posted by DeLong at 04:45 PM