Wednesday, July 17, 2013

India Set To Become Worlds Largest Economy?

But after China becomes the world’s largest economy around 2023, it will itself be overtaken by India around 2048, predicts Mr McWilliams.

“We are only part way through a major process that is set to continue for the next 50 years at least,” he said.

The consequences of this Asian industrialisation present a major challenge to Western economies, even threatening the UK with the risk of becoming a next Greece, Mr McWilliams said on Thursday evening in his inaugural lecture as the Mercers’ School Memorial Gresham Professor of Commerce.

The danger arises because the pace of change in the rapidly growing East has been so fast that its citizens have not yet become used to prosperity, he argued.
“They behave with the hunger of societies that are poor even though they are becoming [and in some cases like Hong Kong and Singapore have already become] rich,” he said. “They don’t take prosperity for granted.”

According to his figures, the average Singaporean works 2,307 hours a year and the average Hong Konger works 2,287 hours. In contrast, the British average is 1,625 hours, while our tax rates are also higher.

Yet in Singapore, gross domestic product (GDP) per capita is already 30pc higher than in the UK. In Hong Kong it is 50pc, said Mr McWilliams.

If Western economies do not adjust their policies to match those of the competitive economies in the East, he said “there is a risk that the rest of Europe, including even countries outside the single currency like the UK, could slide in the same way that Greece now has into first stagnation and then economic collapse”.
 I don't believe that China will become the world's biggest economy by 2023. It can't maintain its economic growth, and, in fact, its economy is already beginning to slow. Demographics don't favor its continued growth, and its poor record of protecting private property rights makes it an unlikely candidate for long-term continued growth. I'm not saying that China's economy will suddenly collapse--but I think it will follow Japan into a period of relative stagnation. In fact, if there were other sources of low cost labor, China would likely being do worse than it is.

I doubt India will become the largest economy within the time frame stated, but I believe its long term prospects are considerably brighter than China's because of its higher birthrate, the wide spread use of English (the lingua franca of the modern world), and the fact that it has developed into an, overall, stable democracy. I don't know what their legal system and private property rights are like, though, or their overall work ethic.

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