What is ‘Import substitution’ in Economics

June 28, 2017 02:05 am | Updated 10:47 pm IST

The policy of encouraging domestic production by raising barriers against the import of goods from foreign economies. It is usually recommended by some economists as a way to encourage self-sufficiency, and also to aid the development of local industries. It was most popular in Latin America in the 20th century, and India too adopted it prior to the liberalisation of its economy in 1991. Critics have argued that protectionist measures like import substitution make consumers poorer in the long run, by preventing them from enjoying the benefits of free trade. Also, given the restrictions imposed on foreign trade, it can lead to bureaucratic corruption.

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