If only we would pause and look beyond the horizon of day to day events, we would see a trend of great significance. More people on the earth have risen out of poverty in the past 25 years than at any other time in human history, and this has happened primarily because of sustained high economic growth in
These ‘growth skeptics’ tend to make our reformers defensive, which slows reforms and the nation loses the potential for even higher growth. Earlier they argued that post-reform growth was ‘jobless’ until recent data has proved them wrong. Nowadays, they usually say, ‘growth but…’ While the type of growth does matter, the truth is that growth in itself is virtuous, and we should celebrate that
Now, two experts on poverty have come up with new research which shows that
The authors conclude that ‘the post-reform process of urban economic growth has brought significant gains to the rural poor as well as the urban poor’. (See ‘Has India’s Economic Growth Become More Pro-Poor in the Wake of Economic Reforms?’ http://econ.worldbank.org, Policy Research Working Paper 5103). The poor in urban and rural areas are now linked through trade, migration, and transfers, which explains why rising standards in
This is an outcome that the reformers had dreamt of. They believed that the reforms would create a more efficient and productive economy, which would raise the overall growth rate and it would transform both urban and rural society. This had happened during the great transformations which occurred in the West during the 19th century and in
An earlier study by the two economists had examined the period prior to 1991 when our economy grew more slowly.
This happy news, however, must be seen in the context of lost opportunities. If only