chapter  3
23 Pages

Anatomy of the growth and transformation of the economies of China and India


The untimely demise of Anita Ghatak in October 2005 came as a great shock to all of us who knew her closely. When the request came to write something for a commemorative volume on Anita, I felt rather uncertain as to what would do justice to Anita’s memory. She was essentially a theoretically minded economist who enjoyed using econometrics to test economic theories. In the last few years of her life, my wife and I had the opportunity to meet with Anita and her husband Subrata a few times and enjoy their warm friendship and hospitality at their home in Leicester. On each occasion we would typically discuss many subjects, but our respective teaching and research interests would always feature in the conversations prominently. I noticed Anita’s enhanced interest in development issues and the case of India in particular. Her interest, I felt, was not just that of a professional economist but also of one who had an emotional connection with India. Of course, I shared with her both these characteristics! She would express doubts about India maintaining her fast economic growth of recent years, and would bring in economic theory in support of her doubts. In this chapter, I address the issue of India’s recent growth experience comparatively with China’s, not so much in a theoretical manner, but with data and information to underpin the points I make. I feel sure that both the subject of this chapter and the methodology I employ would have had Anita’s approval.