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Poverty and Inequality in India: A Reexamination

Angus Deaton and Jean Drèze and Jean Drèze
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Angus Deaton and Jean Drèze: Research Program in Development Studies Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University
Jean Drèze: Delhi School of Economics

Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Angus Deaton ()

No 107, Working papers from Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics

Abstract: This paper presents a new set of integrated poverty and inequality estimates for India and Indian states for 1987-88, 1993-94 and 1999-2000. The poverty estimates are broadly consistent with independent evidence on per-capita expenditure, state domestic product and real agricultural wages. They show that poverty decline in the 1990s proceeded more or less in line with earlier trends. Regional disparities increased in the 1990s, with the southern and western regions doing much better than the northern and eastern regions. Economic inequality also increased within states, especially within urban areas, and between urban and rural areas. We briefly examine other development indicators, relating for instance to health and education. Most indicators have continued to improve in the nineties, but social progress has followed very diverse patterns, ranging from accelerated progress in some fields to slowdown and even regression in others. We find no support for sweeping claims that the nineties have been a period of "unprecedented improvement" or "widespread impoverishment".

Keywords: Poverty; Inequality; Survey methods; India (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I3 O53 C42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev, nep-geo and nep-ltv
Date: 2002-08
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