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PGT: Prof. Sen, one view that has been expressed is that since 1991, since the policies of economic liberalization were initiated, there has actually been a decline in poverty. Now do you have any evidence to indicate that has happened? And if so, has it been some sort of a "trickle- down effect"?
AKS: Well, "trickle-down" is a very general term to use, and it is not a particularly attractive term. Those who favor "trickle-down", I always wonder why they choose an expression that is as ungainly and unattractive as that. If they do, what they mean is that there is a kind of indivisibility in the economy, so that if some people do well, so do others. That is the kind of point of view various people have expressed over the years, in the last century. And in that view, if you have economic expansion, you would expect poverty to go down because everybody moves, to some extent, together. And that is not entirely wrong. The question is whether the extent of sharing is at all what we should expect, and I don't think it is. That is, in an economy where social opportunity connected with education, healthcare and so on are so limited, a very large proportion of the population are not in a position to take part in the economic advance that is taking place, and that is certainly being helped to some extent by the liberalization that has been brought in. I am not denying that that has been a factor of importance. On the other hand, it could have been on a much more egalitarian footing, if the social side had received the attention that it deserves, which it did not get.