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Wrongs and rights in development

Can developing countries enjoy fast economic growth and political freedom? Does the provision of decent health care and education in such countries stimulate or restrain wealth creation? Amartya Sen addresses these two momentous questions in respect to India, a democracy which endures mass illiteracy and rudimentary social security, and China, a country with high levels of education and health care, but little regard for liberty

By Amartya Sen   October 1995

The Chinese and Indian economies together encompass two-fifths of the human race. So remarkably high rates of economic growth in China since its reforms of 1979, and the prospect of excellent performance from the Indian economy since its recent reforms, have received a good deal of international acclaim. It is right that they should do so. And yet there are momentous problems on the social and political side of development that seem to be consistently evaded in India and China. The obstacles are not the same in the two countries-indeed the basis of weakness of each is to a considerable…

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