Many of India’s governance problems are blamed on a lack of the state’s ability to execute its own policies. The traditional policy response to this problem is to increase state capacity, by increasing financial and personnel resources.
An alternative argument is that if the state is flailing, then perhaps the head can issue fewer commands, and engage in fewer actions. Essentially, both streamlining and shrinking the ambit of the regulatory state to a size that can actually be effectively enforced.
The size of the Indian state in terms of its manpower may be small, but its size in terms of regulation is gigantic, and most of this regulation is either unenforced, or selectively and perniciously enforced.
It is clear that in addition to increasing and building state capacity, India must also free state capacity, by eliminating burdensome and zombie regulation, that is arbitrarily enforced, only serving to clog up governance systems.
Shruti Rajagopalan, Economist
Dr. Shruti Rajagopalan is a Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, and a Fellow at the Classical Liberal Institute at NYU School of Law. Before joining the Mercatus Center she was an Associate Professor of Economics at State University of New York, Purchase College.
She earned her Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University. She has a BA (Hons) Economics and LL.B. from University of Delhi; and an LL.M. from the European Masters in Law and Economics Program at University of Hamburg, Ghent University, and University of Bologna.
Shruti’s broad area of interest is the economic analysis of comparative legal and political systems. Her research interests specifically include law and economics, public choice theory, and constitutional economics.