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Modinomics at One

Lower Expectations for India's Economic Future

Modi flies a kite on the second day of the 19th International Kite festival in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad, January 11, 2009. Amit Dave / Reuters

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi came into government one year ago promising to increase India’s economic well-being. How has he done?

His government has certainly made progress. It has dropped the previous administration’s apparent assumption that sufficient growth will materialize out of thin air. Instead, it has tried to make it easier to do business, among other things, which will make for a somewhat more prosperous India.

However, the Modi administration is not following the best economic course. It has made choices that limit India’s ability to perform now and in the future. The government is thus helping India to do better but not helping it to do very well. This explains why many observers feel disappointed.

A laborer sits atop a steel girder at the construction site of a hospital building in Ahmedabad, India, May 6, 2015.
A laborer sits atop a steel girder at the construction site of a hospital building in Ahmedabad, India, May 6, 2015. Amit Dave / Reuters
The path by which India can reach its full economic potential is difficult. It includes dealing with the contentious issue of private land rights, liberalizing the labor market, and creating

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