Economic Growth and Human Development in India – Are States Converging?




This study focusses on three aspects of the association between human development and economic growth in India: (i) the pattern of the relationship between economic growth and human development in India at the national and state levels; (ii) whether economic growth was converging at the state level; and (iii) whether human development was converging at the state level. In the last two decades, India outperformed advanced and developing economies in per capita income growth and health and education indicators, propelling itself into the virtuous category (high-EG, high-HD). By employing data for 26 states and union territories (UTs) for three decades (1990–2019), a diverse pattern was observed in the relationship between economic growth and human development, with most of the states (16) in the virtuous category, and the others in three different categories. However, no clear pattern emerged from the dynamic movements in the last three decades, as there were cases of states moving from one category in one decade to another category in different decade. There was no evidence of economically weaker and low HD states catching up with economically well-off and high HD states, respectively. However, club convergence was occurring, i.e., economically weaker states were catching up with economically well-off states in the low-income, high-HD club. Economically weaker and low HD states can catch up with economically well-off and high HD states only if similar conditions are created.


Economic growth, Human Development, Unconditional convergence, Conditional convergence, Virtuous category, HD-lopsided, EG-lopsided


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Authors Bio

Janak Raj, Centre for Social and Economic Progress

Janak Raj is Senior Fellow at Centre for Social and Economic Progress (CESP)

Vrinda Gupta, Centre for Social and Economic Progress

Vrinda Gupta was a Research Associate at Centre for Social and Economic Progress, New Delhi.

Aakanksha Shrawan, Centre for Social and Economic Progress

Aakanksha Shrawan is a Research Associate at Centre for Social and Economic Progress, New Delhi.


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