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The big picture: 5 factors that keep China way ahead of India

Last updated on: December 11, 2014 12:04 IST

India needs to work on economic parameters to outpace China.

 

Image: Pigeons are released during a flag raising ceremony in China. Jianan Yu/Reuters
 

Last week, a projection of gross domestic product (GDP) growth rates by Goldman Sachs that showed India's pace of economic growth might soon surpass China's prompted a flurry of news stories.

The real story is how far behind India is - China's GDP is about $9 trillion while India's is $1.8 trillion.

Even slower growth for China off such a high base will keep China ahead of India for another century or two. In a recent paper, the economists Larry Summers and Lant Pritchett project what the gains to the global economy would be if China and India continued to grow at their current pace.

Before pointing out that even fast-growing developing countries see growth eventually slow to something closer to the global mean, they calculate faster growth would mean a net gain of $56 trillion by 2033 for global GDP with China's share of that additional growth amounting to a staggering $51 trillion and India's $5 trillion.

This is a theoretical exercise since it is highly unlikely China can grow at the torrid pace it has for the past couple of decades.

Nevertheless, the numbers underline the advantage of having such a gigantic base to grow off.

There are many reasons why India will never catch up with China - but least commented upon among them is a similarly enormous lead in gender equality for China.

As a recent Save the Children report observes, India ranked 132nd on a gender inequality index put out by the United Nations Development Programme behind even Pakistan and Bangladesh, not to mention Sri Lanka at 75.

The Gender Inequality Index measures yardsticks like the number of births to women still in their teens, the number of women with secondary level education to the proportion of women who are part of the workforce to the numbers of women in Parliament. China is some 100 places ahead of India.

Last week, a projection of gross domestic product (GDP) growth rates by Goldman Sachs that showed India's pace of economic growth might soon surpass China's prompted a flurry of news stories.

The real story is how far behind India is - China's GDP is about $9 trillion while India's is $1.8 trillion.

Even slower growth for China off such a high base will keep China ahead of India for another century or two.

In a recent paper, the economists Larry Summers and Lant Pritchett project what the gains to the global economy would be if China and India continued to grow at their current pace.

Before pointing out that even fast-growing developing countries see growth eventually slow to something closer to the global mean, they calculate faster growth would mean a net gain of $56 trillion by 2033 for global GDP with China's share of that additional growth amounting to a staggering $51 trillion and India's $5 trillion.

This is a theoretical exercise since it is highly unlikely China can grow at the torrid pace it has for the past couple of decades.

Nevertheless, the numbers underline the advantage of having such a gigantic base to grow off.

There are many reasons why India will never catch up with China - but least commented upon among them is a similarly enormous lead in gender equality for China.

As a recent Save the Children report observes, India ranked 132nd on a gender inequality index put out by the United Nations Development Programme behind even Pakistan and Bangladesh, not to mention Sri Lanka at 75.

The Gender Inequality Index measures yardsticks like the number of births to women still in their teens, the number of women with secondary level education to the proportion of women who are part of the workforce to the numbers of women in Parliament.

China is some 100 places ahead of India.

Source: source
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