Amartya Sen and Jean Dreze on growth and poverty in India

“Is India doing marvellously well, or is it failing terribly?”. Professor Amartya Sen, Nobel Prize-winning Economist and OPHI’s Advisor, and Jean Drèze, Visiting Professor, Department of Economics, Allahabad University, discuss the place of economic growth in development in the Indian news website Outlook India this month.

The article “Putting Growth In Its Place ~It has to be but a means to development, not an end in itself” looks at India’s slow progress in improving areas like living standards for common people – “so slow that India’s social indicators are still abysmal”. According to the article, World Bank data shows that only five countries outside Africa (Afghanistan, Bhutan, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea and Yemen) have a lower “youth female literacy rate” than India (World Development Indicators 2011, online). This constrasts with the country’s quite remarkable growth rates – second-highest in the world, next to China. In response, the authors discuss the importance of “growth-mediated development” in improving the living standards of the poor…  Read the article in full.