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Keywords

India, demonetization, economics, cash shortages, black money

Abstract

The decision of demonetization announcement in November 2016, by the Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi, was surprising to the general public and controversial to the economic thinkers. While the opponents of such a step have gone through actual calculation of the cost of demonetization in terms of potential GDP loss (2% as predicted by the former Prime Minister and Oxford Economist, Manmohan Singh) some supporters have pointed out the big benefits of this step. In recent days a talk of demonetization has become a “hot potato” that very few want to hold on to. Politically this has become a subject of acute contention and disagreement with some friends turning into foes just for the position they hold on this issue. In this paper we want to be economically eclectic, and attempt to analyze the real economic costs and benefits of this experiment by keeping away from politics. We intend to ask questions such as, why was this done? What were the consequences faced by the general public when this step was taken? Did we achieve the objectives? and What are the economic opportunity costs of doing this in future? Of course, we do not think that anyone can find all the answers, but the investigation itself is considered to be worthwhile.

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