Weak public institutions behind India’s low state capacity
As India's challenges mount, the need for institutional reform is vital if the country is to build and sustain an Indian state for the 21st century
If the dizzying transformation of the Chinese economy has been the defining story of economic development in the last three-and-a-half decades, economic changes in India—while considerably less dramatic—have also been transformative. However, India’s recent success masks deep underlying challenges whose import will only multiply in the foreseeable future. While it has been argued that in many ways India’s improved economic performance has been despite, not because of, the state—epitomized by epigrams such as “India grows at night while the government sleeps"—continued welfare gains, better distributional outcomes, and the resilience and sustainability of rapid economic growth are in considerable doubt in the absence of better-performing public institutions.