Will India catch up to China?
Dyutiman Das, from India
Updated Sep 24
I assume like Yuanrui Chen above that the question refers to the economy. If the question is say whether India can catch up to China in number of medals in the Olympics, then …
No one knows the future, so I think it’s preferable to modify the question to “Under what circumstances can the Indian economy catch up with that of China?” I also think it will be uncontroversial to choose per capita GDP as the most basic metric of catching up.
A note on numbers, most commentators believe that the Chinese numbers are significantly inflated, we don’t know, so I am going with the numbers available on Wikipedia. So we have to keep in mind that the real scenario is probably less favorable to China.
There are two GDP numbers, PPP and nominal. China’s per capita GDP PPP is 15.4k and India is 6.6k, a ratio of 2.33, while nominal is China 8.1k and India 1.7k, a ratio of 4.76. So let’s discuss PPP, keeping in mind that nominal would be harder for India to make up.
Let us consider two scenarios in which the ratio of 2.3 declines to 1 and then discuss the plausibility of either scenario.
Scenario 1. China declines, India improves. Suppose the Chinese economy contracts by 5% and India grows by 5% year after year, then it’s easy to calculate that it’ll take about 8.5 years for the two per capita GDPs to become equal at about 10k. ((1+5%)/(1–5%))^8.5 = 2.34. While 5% growth might be realistic for India, a 5% decline (same as US in 2008 crisis) sustained over 9 years is unrealistic for most countries and especially for China.
Scenario 2. China stagnates, India improves. Suppose the Chinese economy posts zero growth and India grows by 7%, then the same calculation shows that it’ll take 12.5 years. 7% growth for India is perhaps not completely unrealistic (although perhaps it’s the best case scenario). Stagnation like Japan’s lost decade is frequently discussed and has to be considered a possibility (although perhaps close to the worst case scenario for China). I think scenario 2 is more likely than scenario 1.
Jizhide Daidai, former 2nd Battalion Commander (2013-2016)
Answered Oct 9
certainly.India is the largest democracy country in the world，the political system of Indian is far better than China’s and Indians are more clever than Chinese.Although China’GDP is 5 times more than Indian now,yet Chinese paid very very high price for GDP,e.g.:envrionmental damage,heavy work and so on.The China’s developing potential is exhausted but India still has a lot of potential,so India will take over China in one or two decades.