Trevor Swan and Indian planning: the lessons of 1958/59

Selwyn Cornish, Raghbendra Jha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Trevor Swan is commonly considered to be Australias most distinguished economist. As part of a visiting professorship at MIT during 195859 he spent nine months in India to assist in the formulation of Indias third five-year plan and to contribute to the development of Indias premier research institutions. This paper provides an account of his work in New Delhi. Swans closest associates were Pitambar Pant from the Indian Planning Commission and Ian Little who was visiting from Oxford. Swan had the view that Indias economic problems should be clearly understood and the best policy measures to address them should be devised. This varied considerably from the practice of central planning and state control being practiced in India at that time. Swan was unable to influence the direction of economic policy in India, but the economys subsequent performance would vindicate Swans views on how economic development policy should have been conducted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24pp
JournalHistory of Economics Review
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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