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State capacity and the economic history of colonial India

Roy, Tirthankar (2019) State capacity and the economic history of colonial India. Australian Economic History Review, 59 (1). pp. 80-102. ISSN 0004-8992

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Identification Number: 10.1111/aehr.12166


The paper re-examines the role of the state in economic change in colonial India (1757–1947), by paying attention to fiscal capacity. This capacity was larger than that of the precolonial states, and based on different foundations, such as centralisation of finance and securitisation of public debt. Nevertheless, the effort to raise finance hit a barrier, which had owed to the separation of debt from revenue operations. Did the barrier matter? By keeping markets open, the colonial state served private enterprise, but its failure to sustain growth in fiscal capacity compromised public investment in infrastructure and social development.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2018 Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd
Divisions: Economic History
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
JEL classification: F - International Economics > F5 - International Relations and International Political Economy > F54 - Colonialism; Imperialism; Postcolonialism
N - Economic History > N1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Growth and Fluctuations > N15 - Asia including Middle East
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O10 - General
Date Deposited: 03 May 2019 08:36
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:38

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