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As of 1 July 2002, this project is no longer run or housed at CID

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The India Program

Overview

The Center for International Development (CID) at Harvard University undertook a major program of policy research on the Indian economy. It was expected that the findings of CID's research studies would support India's policy-makers, academicians, and the business community in the analysis of a wide range of economic policy issues. While CID's professional staff was predominantly engaged in the India-related research and advisory work, it was envisaged that other schools at Harvard would also participate in the Program. Among these schools from the 'Harvard community' are the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard School of Public Health, Graduate School of Education, Harvard Business School, the Department of Economics, and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.
 

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Background

One of the most important trends in the world economy in recent years has been the dramatic surge in market reforms throughout the developing World. According to a Harvard study, more than seventy- five developing and post-Socialist economies, with a combined population of more than three billion people are undertaking dramatic economic reforms aimed at integrating themselves into the global market system. Dozens of these economies have succeeded in attracting large flows of capital, and, most striking, more than thirty countries have succeeded in establishing stock markets capable of attracting international portfolio investments.

These changes have profound implications for the entire world economy and are leading to a reallocation of global savings and investment. These changes are of great macroeconomic significance, propelling the most dynamic of the reforming countries into unprecedented levels of sustained economic growth and reshaping global capital markets by introducing new opportunities for both portfolio and direct foreign investment. At the same time, however, the capital movements are also introducing new financial risks for both countries and investors, as exemplified by the East Asian financial crisis and the 1994-95 Mexican peso crisis. As one of the most important emerging markets in the world with tremendous potential for sustained high rates of economic growth, India is increasingly becoming a key player in the world economy.

Surprisingly, however, little work on the Indian economy is now being conducted at the leading U.S. universities. In light of the progress of India's reform program and the growing worldwide interest in India, CID strongly believes that intensified analysis of the Indian economy is called for. Thus, the commitment on CID's part to launch a major program of policy research on the Indian economy and India's economic reforms. It was envisaged that this work would go a long way towards developing a deeper understanding of the Indian economy, polity, and society among the academic community in the United States, policy makers in India and abroad, and the international business community. CID intends to encourage work on India that is similar in scope and intensity to the academic research underway on China.

Under the direction of Jeffrey Sachs, Director, Center for International Development at Harvard University (CID) and Nirupam Bajpai, Director, CID's India Program, the Center was involved in designing, developing, and implementing a major program of policy-oriented research on the Indian economy. During this period, CID conducted research; organized conferences, both at Harvard and in India; and set-up collaborations between CID and counterpart research institutes in India. A major focus of CID's work in India was to work at the state level so as to achieve rapid economic growth in the states via continued reforms that improve institutions and economic policies, and thereby create an environment conducive to private investment (both domestic and foreign) and economic growth. On the research front, CID undertook work on regional income inequality in India; India's economic reforms and lessons from East Asia; fiscal policy in India's economic reforms; comparative studies of the Chinese and Indian reform experiences, foreign direct investment in India, India's growth strategy, India's software industry, the state of State Government finances in India, and the determinants of life cycle health in rural India. A major research project was initiated to study regional growth patterns and the impact geography and demography have had on the various states in India.

In December 1996, along with the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, the India Program organized a major conference on India's economic reforms with a view to highlight for the U.S. academic and business community the enormous and promising changes underway in India, and to help promote a far more extensive understanding and analysis of these changes throughout academia and the policy community. The papers presented at this conference were assembled in a volume edited by Jeffrey Sachs, Ashutosh Varshney and Nirupam Bajpai. This volume, titled India in the Era of Economic Reforms, was published by the Oxford University Press.
 

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Publications

Books

India in the Era of Economic Reforms
Jeffrey D. Sachs, Ashutosh Varshney and Nirupam Bajpai, eds. 1996. New York: Oxford University Press.

This volume is a series of essays that grew out of a conference on India's Economic Reforms held at Harvard University in December 1996. The essays "present a systematic assessment of the progress of reforms in different policy areas and of the politics involved at the central and state levels." Available from Oxford University Press.


Papers


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More Information

For more information, please contact the former director of CID's India Program, now at Columbia University:

Dr. Nirupam Bajpai
Senior Development Advisor
Center on Globalization and Sustainable Development
The Earth Institute at Columbia University
Tel: 212-854-9494
Fax: 212-854-5637
Email: nb2046 'at' columbia 'dot' edu


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Last revised 11/01/2007