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2009 - Midwest Political Science Association 67th Annual National Conference Pages: 28 pages || Words: 7223 words || 
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1. Adhia, Nimish. "Bourgeois Virtues in Indian Movies: How Bollywood heralded India's Economic Liberalization" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association 67th Annual National Conference, The Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, IL, Apr 02, 2009 Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2019-06-20 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p363765_index.html>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: India’s new growth rate of 6%, I argue, was caused by a change in the ethical evaluation of wealth. Indians used to consider commerce and profit to be anti-social, and implemented economic policies that stifled private enterprise. Since 1980s, they have come to consider rich businessmen as heroes, and profits as just, and so new policies have allowed a greater play to the market. The ideological change does a better job of explaining the change in India’s economic policies than does the rational self-interest of policymakers. There was no economic crisis, nor a change in balance of power among special interests. But what changed was what Deirdre McCloskey calls the "Rhetoric of the Economy"- what influential people are saying about business and commerce. Greed is Good, or Profit is Dirty? Such Rhetoric shapes collective notions of justice and the greater good, which, even economists now agree, greatly affect policy outcomes. I do content analysis, a method borrowed from Film Studies, of the most popular Indian movie each year since 1955, and find that characters of rich merchants have gone from being villanized to being valorized. No wonder then that India's top marginal tax rate has gone from 97% in 1970 to 40% today.


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