Explaining divergent social outcomes from government policies

In a new article published at the JCA website, Devin K. Joshi and Kathleen McGrath examine the divergences the Indian states of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu on human development outcomes.

In Political Ideology, Public Policy and Human Development in India: Explaining the Gap Between Gujarat and Tamil Nadu (DOI: 10.1080/00472336.2014.1003392), the authors observe that four decades ago the two states had identical scores on the human development index.

map-indiaSince then, the states have experienced similar rates of economic growth and Gujarat has received more foreign investment. Yet it is Tamil Nadu that has seen much stronger advances in human development. What happened?

Through comparative historical, statistical and public policy analysis and interviews, the authors conclude that the implementation of government policies as a manifestation of political ideology and the quality of public administration have played a defining role in explaining Gujarat’s more lopsided and Tamil Nadu’s more balanced human development trajectories.

The findings suggest that a more egalitarian ideology and higher quality of public administration have been crucial to Tamil Nadu’s success in simultaneously improving human and economic development.

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