Special Economic Zones and Human Well-being: A Case Study of Gujarat State in India

Ion Didenco & Flavia Indellicati

Student thesis: Master thesis


The establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) worldwide continues to increase, creating employment opportunities for a growing number of people: these areas are also considered by policymakers as instruments to boost productivity and increase FDI. However, an intense debate revolves around the real impacts of SEZs on human development and growth. This study’s purpose is to contribute to a better understanding of the impact of SEZs on human well-being. The analysis is focused on India and, in particular, on the State of Gujarat. Previous researches on developing zones produced heterogeneous results and a clear assessment of the impact of these zones is not available, thus, the present analysis aims to be part of the stream of literature on this topic. Moreover, this is going to be the first one that systematically analyses SEZs impact on Gujarat through an analytical procedure that leverages both on National Sample Surveys and on Census database, in order to draw conclusions on economic and social development figures. The findings, based on the Census dataset, suggest that SEZs do not have significant impacts on education, health, transportation and commercial infrastructures. The analysis built upon the National Sample Surveys however, highlights mixed results and shows that, only in specific cases, developing zones affect the level of household consumption.

EducationsMSc in International Business, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2018
Number of pages110
SupervisorsAradhna Aggarwal