Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 16 No. 3 (Summer 2002)


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Is India's Economic Growth Leaving the Poor Behind?

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Datt, Gaurav, and Martin Ravallion. 2002. "Is India's Economic Growth Leaving the Poor Behind?" Journal of Economic Perspectives, 16(3): 89-108.

DOI: 10.1257/089533002760278730


Has poverty continued to fall with growth in India in the 1990s, or has the nature of the growth process changed, such that the poor have been left behind? This paper tries to answer those questions. We do not attempt to assess the impact of India's macroeconomic reforms of the 1990s on poverty, since this would require identification of the counterfactual of what would have been experienced in the 1990s without the reforms. Rather, our aim is to describe what has happened to poverty in India in the 1990s. In the course of the discussion, we will learn about the proximate causes of changes in India's poverty rate. Moreover, although this discussion is India-specific, it illustrates themes that are often encountered in the analysis of poverty in low-income economies, including difficult issues of survey design and comparability and the proximate factors underlying the responsiveness of poverty to economic growth.

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Datt, Gaurav
Ravallion, Martin


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