As part of the Urban Workshop Series, the Centre for Policy Research is organising a talk on 23 May 2012 titled ‘Spatial Development of India’ by Ejaz Ghani, Economic Advisor at The World Bank. The presentation is based on a paper published by the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Unit of the World Bank (South Asia Region), which is available here.
In the last two decades the Indian economy has been growing unabatedly, with memories of the Hindu rate of growth rapidly fading. But this unprecedented growth has also resulted in widening spatial disparities. While cities such as Hyderabad have emerged as major clusters of high development, many rural areas have been left behind with little development benefits accruing to them. India’s mega-cities have continued to grow. This situation raises a number of important policy questions. Should India aim to spread development more equally across space? Are India’s cities becoming too large? Should the government invest in infrastructure in the large cities to reduce congestion or in medium-sized locations to facilitate the emergence of new economic clusters? What are the tradeoffs between agglomeration economies and congestion costs? How different is India’s experience compared with China and USA?
Ejaz Ghani is currently Economic Advisor at The World Bank. He has worked on Africa, East Asia, and India/South Asia. He has written on poverty, growth, trade, fiscal policy, debt management, conflict, decentralization, entrepreneurship, employment, and agriculture. He has been a consultant at ILO, UNCTAD, and UNICEF. His most recent books include Reshaping Tomorrow: Is South Asia Ready for the Big Leap? Oxford University Press 2011; and The Poor Half Billion in South Asia, Oxford University Press 2010. Dr. Ghani has taught economics at Delhi University (India) and Oxford University (U.K.). He is an Inlaks Scholar and obtained an M. Phil. & D. Phil in Economics from Oxford University.