India's Patterns of Development: What Happened, What Follows
India seems to have followed an idiosyncratic pattern of development, certainly compared to other fast-growing Asian economies. While the emphasis on services rather than manufacturing has been widely noted, within manufacturing India has emphasized skill-intensive rather than labor-intensive manufacturing, and industries with typically higher average scale. We show that some of these distinctive patterns existed even prior to the beginning of economic reforms in the 1980s, and argue they stem from the idiosyncratic policies adopted soon after India's independence. We then look to the future, using the growth of fast-moving Indian states as a guide. Despite recent reforms that have removed some of the policy impediments that might have sent India down its distinctive path, it appears unlikely that India will revert to the pattern followed by other countries.
Published: Kochhar, Kalpana, Utsav Kumar, Raghuram Rajan, Arvind Subramanian, and Ioannis Tokatlidis. “India’s Pattern of Development: What Happened, What Follows?” Journal of Monetary Economics 53 (2006): 981-1019.