Singh, Nirvikar Kendall, Jake Jain, R. K. Chander, Jai
Year of Publication:
Working Paper 716
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.