Economic development is not merely economic growth and prosperity, but it includes a multitude of goals. This book analyses the expanding concept of economic development as it evolved over time, encompassing multidimensional human wellbeing extending well beyond material prosperity. The book adopts the generic framework of Stiglitz et al. (2009), where economic development is viewed as achievements across eight dimensions – material prosperity, education, health, economic security, personal security, environmental conditions, political voice and social connections. The authors implement this concept to design a robust measure of development for comparing Indian states. The authors also define three sub-measures – human development, security and voice and confidence – broadly representing three distinct aspects of development.
The results clearly show that state level performances vary considerably across various dimensions of development. No state does uniformly well or badly across all levels, thereby exposing the fallacy of branding the development experience of a particular state as ideal based on its achievement on some aspects of development. Since good performance in one dimension does not ensure doing well in other dimensions too, it would be inappropriate to look only at the overall measure of development, ignoring the achievements in the three sub-measures and the eight dimensions. Recognition of such diversity of performance is particularly important in a federal structure, like India, where different states may have different development priorities. This book will enable states to reflect on whether they have been performing according to their priorities, and if not, they may choose to their policies or their development strategies.