State failure in India: political-fiscal implications of the black economy
The underground or 'black economy' has been a source for considerable concern to Indian public policy analysts since the mid-1960s. In this article, authors argue that the black economy played a critical role in the softening of the government budget constraints in the 1980s. It reflects a decline in the fiscal surplus accessible to the State. The origins and disposition of black income are traceable, it is argued, to petty bourgeois groups rather than to direct 'corruption' of the type identified in the rent-seeking literature.