Mahalanobis model

Mahalanobis Model

Mahalanobis model

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The Mahalanobis model is a model of economic development, created by Indian statistician Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis in 1953. Mahalanobis became essentially the key economist of India's Second Five Year Plan, becoming subject to much of India's most dramatic economic debates.

The Feldman–Mahalanobis model

The essence of the model is a shift in the pattern of industrial investment towards building up a domestic consumption goods sector. Thus the strategy suggests in order to reach a high standard in consumption, investment in building a capacity in the production of capital goods is firstly needed. A high enough capacity in the capital goods sector in the long-run expands the capacity in the production of consumer goods. The distinction between the two different types of goods was a clearer formulation of Marx’s ideas in Das Kapital, and also helped people to better understand the extent of the trade off between the levels of immediate and future consumption. These ideas were however first introduced in 1928 by G.A. Feldman, a Soviet economist working for the GOSPLAN planning commission; presenting theoretical arguments of a two-department scheme of growth. There is no evidence that Mahalanobis knew of Feldman’s approach, being kept behind the borders of the USSR. Due to the similarity of the two theories, the model is often referred to as the Feldman-Mahalanobis model.

Implementation of the model

The model was created as an analytical framework for...
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