Putting the "Kerala Model" to Rest: Lessons for a New Era of Development in India

Apoorva Shah
Content Type
Working Paper
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
In a country where two out of five citizens, about 450 million people, live in poverty, it is no exaggeration to say that the development experience of Kerala – a coastal state on the southwestern tip of India – stands out as extraordinary. Despite a history of anemic economic growth, this state of 32 million boasts effectively universal literacy rates and life expectancy levels close to many Western societies. Because of this, the “Kerala model” has been hailed by NGOs, development experts, and Western academics as an alternative path for human development in which a robust welfare system rather than economic growth drives social progress.
Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Poverty
Political Geography
South Asia, India, Kerala