World Economic Performance
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World Economic Performance

Past, Present and Future

Edited by D. S.P. Rao and Bart van Ark

World economic performance over the last 50 years has been spectacular. The postwar period has witnessed impressive growth rates in Western Europe and Japan, and in recent times China and India. This new book discusses these issues and tackles topical questions such as; what are the socio-economic and institutional factors that have contributed to this impressive performance? Will China and India continue to grow at the same rate over the next two decades? What are the prospects for Japan, the US and other advanced economies? The book brings together contributions by eminent scholars including the late Angus Maddison, Professors Justin Lin, Bob Gordon, Ross Garnaut, Bart van Ark and others to provide answers to these fascinating questions. The chapters analyse the economic performance of selected countries including China, India, Japan, Indonesia and the US, as well as Western Europe, Latin America and developing countries as a group. The time period of the study is from 1850 to the present and includes forecasts to 2030.
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Chapter 4: An Indian Miracle?


In explaining the acceleration in Indian growth, and to judge if an Indian economic miracle is on its way, it is first necessary to establish when this acceleration began, as this is still subject to controversy. Second it is necessary to identify the sources of this acceleration and to see to what extent these are the results of policy. Third, to provide some reading of the tea leaves until 2030, it is necessary to outline the current constraints on growth. But before that, the current change in Indian economic fortunes needs to be put into historical perspective. This is done in the first part of this article, followed by the next three parts, which deal with the other three broad themes outlined above. As this article is in honor of Angus Maddison, I rely wherever possible on the growth accounting method that he has made so much his own. 2.2 REPRESSION, CRISIS AND REFORM Like many other developing countries, India at its independence in 1947 followed an inward-looking heavy industry biased industrialization strategy. This was in part a reaction to the laissez faire and free trade policies followed by the British Raj in the nineteenth century, which were erroneously thought to have led to India’s continuing stagnation. Though contemporary research has questioned the validity of this nationalist and often Marxist perspective, it still colors the minds of Indian elites.

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