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There is a lot of debate on what exactly was the impact of the British colonial rule on the Indian economy. Usually, the literature can be broadly divided into two camps. One camp is of the opinion that the British colonial rule not only affected India but also Britain, albeit in a positive way in case of the later. The other camp is on the opposite spectrum associating the failure of the Indian economy during the British period to causes like rainfall shortages and famines.

Yet another way of looking at the impact of the colonial rule is tie it to the current outcomes of different regions or countries. Lakshmi Iyer’s recent article belongs to this category. It “compares economic outcomes across areas in India that were under direct British rule with areas that were under indirect colonial rule.” She finds that areas that experienced direct rule have significantly lower levels of access to schools, health centers, and roads in the post colonial period.

 

Iyer Lakshmi, Direct versus Indirect Colonial Rule in India: Long-Term Consequences, The Review of Economics and Statistics, 92(4), November 2010, 693-713.

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