Law & Economic Development in India: Behavioral Approaches & Policy Implementation
This seminar examines the relationship between law and economic development in India — one of the world’s largest and fastest growing economies — with an opportunity for interested students to go to India during Winter Break in February-March 2024 (economy airfare and accommodations in India will be provided for students) to work on a major policy reform and its implementation with the highest policy organ of the Government of India. The policy reform could be climate change, women’s empowerment, financial inclusion, or another topic. Travelling to India is not required of students, but is available to all students enrolled in the course who are interested and would provide students with an additional 1 credit on top of the 1 credit already offered for the seminar.
In terms of lectures in the US before traveling to India, the seminar begins with a brief and general discussion of the role of the law in economic development and canvasses some influential and important theories. We then provide a thumbnail sketch of India and the Indian legal system including its Constitution (the longest in the world) and its judiciary (one of the most active in the world). Following this the seminar examines specific areas of law and legal reforms in India that have a significant impact on economic development. These include property, inheritance, “personal” laws, corporate and financial markets laws (including debt), intellectual property and competition laws, infrastructure, contracts, and more. The seminar delves into how these areas of law and legal reform influence economic development in India. We then conclude with a discussion of how the experiences in India help to enrich our understanding of the role of law in economic development more generally. The readings for the sessions will span across theoretical, historical, empirical and “black letter” law.
Assessment for the seminar will depend on whether students intend to travel to India in Winter Break 2024. If they do, then they are expected to participate actively in class sessions and write a short paper on their work in India (this will be a team project of 2 to 3 student in each team). If students are not intending to travel to India in Winter Break 2024 then they are expected to actively participate in class sessions and produce four (4) reaction papers to the readings. There are seven sessions and students can pick whichever 4 sessions for which they wish to write reactions papers. Each paper should be five (5) double spaced pages long. Students should feel free to reach out to Professor Khanna for further information.