Confronted by set of deeply entrenched obstacles, the government of Bihar adopted a carefully structured approach to state-building. In this paper we assess the measures it took to consolidate the rule of law, build key infrastructure, deliver services, grow revenues and expenditure, and improve bureaucratic function. We explain and assess how these individual approaches combined to drive step change characterized by consistent strong economic growth. We focus on three elements in particular: working from existing assets; thoughtful sequencing to implement a graduated approach; and driving perception of change to become self-fulfilling prophecy.


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