Pranab Bardhan on the economic rise of China and India

May 31, 2010

In its May economic outlook, the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development projected upward growth outlooks for BRIC countries Brazil, Russia, India and China — the world’s four largest emerging economies.

Strong growth in those economies is helping to pull other countries out of recession, the OECD said. The Paris-based organisation projects that China’s GDP growth will exceed 11 percent for 2010, and anticipates that India’s real GDP growth will be 8.3 percent. Russia‘s GDP growth is expected to be 5.5 percent, and Brazil‘s is projected at 6.5 percent. By comparison, the OECD projects that the Euro area will see 1.5 percent real GDP growth, while the UK will see a 2.2 percent growth.

The “BRIC” acronym was created by Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill in 2001 to mark a shift of economic power from the West. In June 2009, the BRIC leaders met in Yekaterinburg, Russia, for a summit, which was seen as the beginning of a geopolitical alliance, although their economies are very different: Brazil’s economy is based on agriculture; Russia’s on energy exports; India’s on services and China’s on manufacturing. At that time, the BRIC countries accounted for 40 percent of the world’s population and about 15 percent of its economy.

In a new book titled “Awakening Giants, Feet of Clay: Assessing the Economic rise of China and India“, Pranab Bardhan, a professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley, dissects some generally accepted beliefs about the economies of China and India — arguing that they are oversimplified — to provide a new perspective on what to expect from the two countries in the future.

He examines the impact of economic growth on politics, people and the environment within China and India.

Bardhan spoke to Reuters about his book at his office at the London School of Economics where he is serving as BP Centennial Professor for 2010 and 2011. Watch the video here:

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