August 11, 2013

India’s Path to Prosperity Doesn’t Run Through Cities

Indian leaders often warn that they need to shift the majority of their country’s population -- almost 70 percent -- from rural to urban areas. “Our salvation,” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh claims, “lies in moving people out of agriculture.” Finance Minister P. Chidambaram confirms, “My vision is to get 85 percent of India into cities.”

These dedicated urbanizers claim to have history on their side: the shift from agriculture to urban industry and manufacturing is how Europe, the U.S. and, more recently, China enhanced their productivity and created capital for broader investments to modernize their economies.

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