India’s Growth in the 2000s: Four Facts

by Utsav Kumar, Consultant with the Asian Development Bank
and Arvind Subramanian, Peterson Institute for International Economics

November 2011

This paper marks the first attempt at examining the growth performance across Indian states for the 2000s, a period also marked by the global financial crisis. Four key findings are reported. First, consistent with the fact that the 2000s was the best ever decade for Indian macroeconomic performance, growth increased across almost all major states in 2001–09 compared to 1993–2001. Second, nevertheless, there is a continued phenomenon of divergence or rising inequality across states: On average the richer states in 2001 grew faster in 2001–09. Third, during the crisis years of 2008 and 2009, states with the highest growth in 2001–07 suffered the largest deceleration. Since states with the highest growth were also the most open, it seems that openness creates dynamism and vulnerability. Finally, although the demographic dividend—a young population boosting economic dynamism—was evident before 2000, there is little evidence that there was any dividend in the 2000s. Demography alone cannot be counted on for future economic growth.

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