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Title: Linked in : the software and IT services sector in India's economic development, 1980 to 2011
Author: Kite, Grace
Awarding Body: SOAS, University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2011
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Research on the use of information technology (IT) in production in the developed world demonstrates that its impact on both economic growth and productivity has been substantial. Despite this, literature on the potential for India's IT industry to bring about similar outcomes by selling IT within the country is resoundingly pessimistic. The most important finding of the research described here is that this outlook is far too gloomy. A newly assembled time series of the IT sector's sales to Indian companies, or in other words the sector's forward linkages, shows that these have been substantial for some time. Since 2005-06 they have also been growing significantly faster. An original econometric investigation into the impact of this ongoing investment finds significant increases in both total factor productivity and output in the firms and sectors that make up the sector's domestic clients. These findings beg a question: If published analyses imply a dismal future for the IT sector's forward linkages, why have domestic purchases from the sector, in fact, been growing so quickly? The research project included a programme of in-depth interviews undertaken in the field. This contributed another major finding. That is that IT has become appropriate for production in India as a result of a match between attributes of the technology and attributes of the country's society and markets. The research described here was not limited to an investigation of the sector's forward linkages. It also included an extensive survey of backwards and other linkages from the sector to the rest of the Indian economy. The thesis concludes that these too are now substantial and that the IT industry can therefore be described as a leading sector.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral