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India’s Service Sector Growth - A “New” Revolution

  • Rubina Verma

Following the trade liberalization in 1991, the Indian economy embarked on a path of rapid growth of aggregate output. In particular, it witnessed a high growth rate of service sector output while that of industry was relatively muted. As a result, the share of services in GDP has come to resemble that of a high income country while its per capita income still remains that of a low income country. Further, we also observe a sharp increase in the rate of growth of service sector trade after liberalization. In this paper, we build a quantitative model which captures a falling share of agricultural output and a rapidly increasing share of service sector output as the economy grows. We develop a three sector open economy growth model and allow the economy to trade with the rest of the world by exporting as well as importing services and industrial goods. We focus on two steady state years, 1970 and 1994, and assume trade to be balanced in these two years. In addition, we allow for exogenous productivity growth in each of the three sectors. We find that it is high productivity growth, especially in the service sector, rather than growth of trade in services which is the primary factor driving the high growth witnessed by the Indian service sector.

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Paper provided by DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade in its series DEGIT Conference Papers with number c011_020.

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Length: 57 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:deg:conpap:c011_020
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  1. L. Rachel Ngai & Christopher Pissarides, 2005. "Structural change in a multi-sector model of growth," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 4656, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Was an Industrial Revolution Inevitable? Economic Growth Over the Very Long Run," NBER Working Papers 7375, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 2000. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
  4. Richard Rogerson, 2006. "Structural Transformation and the Labor Market," 2006 Meeting Papers 256, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Arvind Virmani, 2004. "Sources of India's economic growth: trends in total factor productivity," Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, New Delhi Working Papers 131, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, New Delhi, India.
  6. Douglas Gollin, 2001. "Getting Income Shares Right," Department of Economics Working Papers 2001-11, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  7. Poonam Gupta & James P. F. Gordon, 2004. "Understanding India’s Services Revolution," IMF Working Papers 04/171, International Monetary Fund.
  8. Laitner, John, 2000. "Structural Change and Economic Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 545-61, July.
  9. de Cordoba, Gonzalo Fernandez & Kehoe, Timothy J., 2000. "Capital flows and real exchange rate fluctuations following Spain's entry into the European Community," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 49-78, June.
  10. Oded Galor, 2006. "The Demographic Transition," Working Papers 2006-24, Brown University, Department of Economics.
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