Yesterday’s Indian Express carried a piece by me on the perverse oil subsidy that the government of India provides. I begin that piece with my favorite Douglass North quote: “Economic history is overwhelmingly a story of economies that failed to produce a set of economic rules of the game (with enforcement) that induce sustained economic growth.” I used that quote in the other piece published in Mint today.
The reason I like that quote it because it goes to the very heart of the problem of India’s economic development. Indians as a collective are no less than other collectives around the world; India is endowed with natural and human resources; yet India is desperately poor. Why? Because we have failed to develop a set of rational rules to play by. Refusing to acknowledge that failing will ensure our continued poverty.
Anyway, here’s the text of that India Express piece.