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India And The Great Divergence: An Anglo-Indian Comparison Of Gdp Per Capita, 1600-1871

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  • Broadberry, Stephen

    (London School of Economics)

  • Gupta, Bishnupriya

    (University of Warwick)

Abstract

This paper provides estimates of Indian GDP constructed from the output side for the pre-1871 period, and combines them with population estimates to track changes in living standards. Indian per capita GDP declined steadily during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries before stabilising during the nineteenth century. As British living standards increased from the mid-seventeenth century, India fell increasingly behind. Whereas in 1600, Indian per capita GDP was over 60 per cent of the British level, by 1871 it had fallen to less than 15 per cent. As well as placing the origins of the Great Divergence firmly in the early modern period, the estimates suggest a relatively prosperous India at the height of the Mughal Empire, with living standards well above bare bones subsistence.

Suggested Citation

  • Broadberry, Stephen & Gupta, Bishnupriya, 2012. "India And The Great Divergence: An Anglo-Indian Comparison Of Gdp Per Capita, 1600-1871," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 81, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:81
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Broadberry, Stephen N & Guan, Hanhui & Li, David Daokui, 2017. "China, Europe and the great Divergence: A Study in Historical National Accounting, 980-1850," CEPR Discussion Papers 11972, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Theodoridis, Dimitrios, 2017. "The ecological footprint of early-modern commodities Coefficients of land use per unit of product," Göteborg Papers in Economic History 21, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economic History.
    3. Broadberry, Stephen, 2013. "Accounting for the great divergence," Economic History Working Papers 54573, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
    4. Ken Tabata, 2013. "The Expansion of the Commercial Sector and the Child Quantity-Quality Transition in a Malthusian World," Discussion Paper Series 105, School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University, revised May 2013.
    5. Broadberry, Stephen & Ghosal, Sayantan & Proto, Eugenio, 2017. "Anonymity, efficiency wages and technological progress," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 379-394.
    6. BASSINO, Jean-Pascal & ENG, Pierre van der, 2016. "Asia's 'Little Divergence' in the 20th Century: Evidence from PPP-based direct estimates of GDP per capita, 1913-1969," Discussion paper series HIAS-E-28, Hitotsubashi Institute for Advanced Study, Hitotsubashi University.
    7. Stephen Broadberry & Bruce Campbell & Alexander Klein & Mark Overton & Bas van Leeuwen, 2012. "British Economic Growth, 1270-1870: an output-based approach," Studies in Economics 1203, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    8. Broadberry, Stephen & Ghosal, Sayantan & Proto, Eugenio, 2011. "Is Anonymity the Missing Link Between Commercial and Industrial Revolution?," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 974, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    9. Morten Jerven, 2014. "A West African experiment: constructing a GDP series for colonial Ghana, 1891–1950," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 67(4), pages 964-992, November.
    10. Bassino, Jean-Pascal & Broadberry, Stephen & Fukao, Kyoji & Gupta, Bishnupriya & Takashima, Masanori, 2017. "Japan and the Great Divergence, 730-1874," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 325, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    11. Swee, Eik Leong & Panza, Laura, 2016. "Good geography, good institutions? Historical evidence from nineteenth-century British colonies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 264-283.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Indian GDP; comparison; Britain;

    JEL classification:

    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • N35 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Asia including Middle East
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries

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