Edited by Vai Io Lo and Mary Hiscock
Chapter 4: Productivity differences, technology adoption and economic growth: The case of India
When the acronym of ëBRICí was coined in 2001 by Jim OíNeill of Goldman Sachs, it was expected that economic growth rates in India, Brazil and Russia would eventually catch up with that of China. However, China has continued to outperform the other economies in the group, even after it was renamed ëBRICSí to reflect the inclusion of South Africa in 2010. The focus of this chapter is on one of the BRICS economies, namely India. Its aim is to examine from an economic perspective, why Indiaís performance has not lived up to expectations, and comment on the key challenges it faces in meeting them. We begin with some descriptive statistics regarding the progress of the Indian economy since 1990. While it has been growing at a rapid rate since the reforms it introduced in the1990s, there has been a slowdown in its overall GDP growth rates since 2008. The rate of growth experienced in the period 2003ñ07 was an average of 10.5 per cent. However, since the recession following the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) of 2008, the growth rate has fallen. From the period 2008ñ12 it has only registered an average growth rate of 6.5 per cent (World Bank, 2013). This chapter suggests that one of the major factors underpinning this slowdown is the performance of Indiaís agricultural sector. The importance of the agricultural sector is highlighted by the following stylized facts.
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