Once Again, Democracy Versus Capitalism: The Political Economy of Reform

In India Unbound I wrote about how India embraced democracy first and capitalism afterwards and this had made all the difference.1 India became a full-fledged democracy in 1950, with universal suffrage and extensive human rights, but it was not until 1991 that it opened up to a freer play of capitalist forces. This unique reversal, I think, explains a great deal about Indian society today, and particularly why the pace of reforms is so painfully slow.

Indian Business Families

The essay attempts to address the following issues related to the structure of Indian business:

1) Indian business is overwhelmingly owned and managed by families. Is a family firm necessarily at a disadvantage versus a professionally managed firm? Will an economy based on smaller family business grow slower or be disadvantaged compared to one based on large professional companies?