Tuesday, August 01, 2006

India

Demographics and an Overheated India?

There has certainly been much debate and discussion lately about what has been known as India's sizzling growth rates whether this rampant pace of the Indian economy is sustainable or whether in fact the economy was on its way to overheat and perhaps even collaps. More interestingly, this discussion has pitted our very Edward and his Indian colleagues over at the Indian Economy Blog against no other than the hegemoneous English magazine the Economist. As such, if you have been following the readings in the Economist as of late the journal has on several occasions pointed to the worrying signs of India's economic growth. A week ago the Economics Focus column featured two studies which compared economic growth in India and China; both of them by Barry Bosworth and Susan M. Collins from the Brookings Institution; 1) Accounting for Growth: Comparing India and China and 2) Sources of Growth in the Indian Economy. And the conclusion as quoted from the Economist Economics Focus column.
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Demography and Religion in India

There has been some debate in comments about the role of religion in influencing the numbers of children that people actually have. Globally the evidence is very contradictory. Here in Europe those societies which might be thought to be among the more religious traditionally - Italy, Spain, Poland - now have lowest-low fertility levels, while, of course, secular France and Sweden have rather higher fertility. In the US many feel that the presence of large numbers of practising believers exerts an influence, yet, as I am often at pains to point out, one of the principal reasons why some US women have rather more children is that they start early, indeed very early, in adolesence. I find it difficult to square teenage pregancy with especially devout behaviour, but then maybe that is just me.
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Can India meet the Global Challenge of Declining Populations?


This is obviously a silly question since it would be unfair to put the solution of this solely on India's shoulders. But still the logic is worth pondering; as many Western countries step into a period with ageing populations and declining workforces one of the only sources of upward demographic stimulus comes from immigration and of course exploiting foreign labour locally. Now India has a huge and young population and many pundits are hailing India's future as resting on this very fact. So does it all add up then? Well actually if we look at it the numbers it fits ok ...
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A Tale Of Two Countries?


The idea that India is not one country but two (or more?) is, of course, not a new one, but it does seem to me to be a thesis which is worth revisiting, in particular in the light of India’s current demographic realities. Chris Wilson in a paper (pdf) entitled “Implications of global demographic convergence for fertility theory” suggests that in order to understand anything which is worth understanding about India some type of regional dis-aggretation is vital since there is so much variance between states. In arguing this he makes the following seemingly valid point that:

“if the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh were an independent nation, it would today be the fourth most populous on Earth (assuming China and India are disaggregated), with more inhabitants than Pakistan or Russia”
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More On India’s Window Of Opportunity

I’ve just noticed that the autumn edition of Options Magazine (published by the Vienna-based IIASA, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis) is entitled Asia’s Future: What Research Reveals.

The whole edition is interesting, but especially interesting for readers of this weblog is the section: India’s Window Of Opportunity. This is a rerun of many of the arguments that can be found in this earlier post of mine. There are one or two nice extra details though. Especially this part:
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The Demographic Dividend

Firstly, a quick hello and thank you to the Indian Economy Blog Team for inviting me to be a guest poster here. In this post I basically want to draw attention to a research article by Deutsch Bank’s Sanjeev Sanyal ( Demographics, Savings and Hyper-Growth). While I was chasing the link however I stumbled across this piece ( India as a global power? published 16 December 2005 ) on the Deutsche Bank site, and I guess it might be of interest to people.
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The relative advantage of a young population?


India's comparative advantage vested in demographics?

'India's increasingly younger demographic profile — with nearly 60 per cent of its population being below 30 years — gives it a distinct advantage in the global outsourcing market as it provides for a large, educated workforce capable of meeting the brainpower demand of the global economy, president and CEO of Cognizant Technology Solutions N. Lakshmi Narayanan, said on Friday.
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India's young population and related issues


Three is such a good number so with this third post I end my rather random but educative (at least for myself:)) "series" of posts about India, and what better place to end than the demographics of this huge country (Wikipedia) ? Recently, we have been indulging ourselves on the demographics of China over at Demography.Matters invoking the well-known question of whether China will grow old before it grows rich? Our conclusion ?
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