The Introduction emphasizes that development economics should be about how and why lives change. It should illuminate the drivers of change, why some people do better or worse than others, and what influences mobility and inequality. And it should, therefore, help us in shaping policy for growth, development, and poverty reduction in all the relevant dimensions of well-being. This book puts development economics to work, and assesses its performance and potential in a unique and powerful way, in explaining change in one, not unusual, village in a crucially important country. It uses a special data set with seven surveys, encompassing all households in one village, one for every decade since India’s Independence. The Introduction also argues that the development of one village since Independence must not only be set in the context of India’s story, but can provide real insights into that story.
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