India's Socially Regulated Economy

Date: Jul, 2005
ODID Working Paper No. 133
Author(s): Barbara Harriss-White (QEH)

By far the larger part of the contemporary Indian economy - judged by measures as disparate as GDP and livelihoods - is not directly regulated by the state. It is regulated through social institutions. Social institutions express forms of power not confined to the economy. Macro-economic policy is implemented through their filters. In this paper some propositions derived from a large primary literature concerning the roles of gender, religious plurality, caste, space, class and the state are introduced. Liberalisation is argued to increase the tension between forces dissolving social forms of regulation and those intensifying them.

ODID Author(s)