HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.


The idea of meritocracy, in its changed positive sense, has become popular in much of Asia and in the two mega-economies of the region, China and India in particular. This volume is a spirited and thoughtful account of the way that those two societies address questions of meritocracy, with an emphasis on the contemporary era, but some historical perspective. The editors are both from Harvard: Tarun Khanna is an economist and Michael Szonyi is a historian. The encounter between their disciplines provides valuable depth, allowing both the economic impact of social mobility and the wider social context to be understood. It also allows interplay between the experiences of China and India. In the book as a whole, there are comparative essays as well as stand-alone pieces on China and India.


Mitter, Rana. Review of Making Meritocracy: Lessons from China and India, from Antiquity to the Present, ed. Tarun Khanna and Michael Szonyi. China Report, 59.4, November 2023: 478-481.