Title

How can India catch up to China? The importance of social investment

Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

6-2015

Abstract

After twenty years of economic reform and liberalization, is India now on pace to close the development gap with China? To assess this prospect, I analyzed multi-decade trends across six dimensions of human capabilities crucial to both individual and national development: 1) economic, 2) health, 3) infrastructure, 4) knowledge and technology, 5) public administration and 6) gender equality. I also conducted a focused comparison of two industrial sectors: software services and equipment manufacturing. The evidence shows that India is starting to catch up in several sectors, but overall China currently has a significant lead on most economic and technological indicators. Whereas most scholars studying this divergence have focused on shifting economic policies as the key to convergence, I argue that lingering development gaps may primarily be a result of India’s lower levels of social investment. Thus, if India is to catch up and surpass China, it will not only need supportive economic policies but must also concentrate heavily on expanding and improving rural infrastructure, education, and especially gender equality.

Discipline

Asian Studies | Political Science | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration

Research Areas

Political Science

Publication

India Review

Volume

14

Issue

2

First Page

238

Last Page

267

ISSN

1557-3036

Identifier

10.1080/14736489.2015.1030200

Additional URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14736489.2015.1030200

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