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Abstract

This paper contributes to the growing debate on regional economic inequality and polarization in India. The specific objectives of this paper are to: (1) analyze regional development disparities amongst various states in India to determine if they are on a convergent course; (2) analyze the evolution of regional inequalities amongst states with respect to a number of socioeconomic indicators and factors that have been suggested to affect the incidence of child labor; (3) investigate and test empirically whether polarization is taking place in Indian states; and (4) investigate whether regional indices of human development and child labor incidence follow similar patterns. Using a consistent data series and applying a number of recently developed measures, trends over the decades of 1961-1991 are documented. The results show that there is little evidence to suggest that any convergence of either the Ò or ã type is taking place amongst the states in India and while there has been no significant decrease in regional inequalities relating to human development, inequalities relating to child labor incidence have increased.

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