ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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On the Interpersonal Inclusiveness of India's Consumption Expenditure Growth

This paper reviews the evidence on the interpersonal inclusiveness of the growth in consumption expenditure that has occurred in India over the last four decades or so. The notion of dynamic inclusiveness is framed in terms of imagined normative allocations of the inter-temporal product of growth, as dictated by notions of equity of varying orders of demandingness. There are analytical parallels between these exercises and those involved in the study of bankruptcy in "Talmudic estate problems", as well as in the determination of optimal anti-poverty budgetary allocations. Inclusive growth in this paper is assessed with respect to inclusiveness across income classes. The results of the investigation undertaken in the essay suggest distressingly little evidence of interpersonal inclusiveness in India's consumption growth experience.

S Subramanian is grateful to the World Institute for Development Economics Research, Helsinki, where a longer version of this paper was written, and published in its Working Papers Series (D Jayaraj and S Subramanian: “On the ‘Inclusiveness’ of India’s Consumption Expenditure Growth”, UNU-WIDER Working Paper Number 2012/57, Helsinki). The authors would like to thank Sripad Motiram for the benefi t of a helpful discussion, Lorraine Telfer-Taivainen for her fi ne editing of the paper, and an anonymous referee of this journal for advice on considerable trimming and reorganisation of the paper’s contents.

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