The Service Sector as India's Road to Economic Growth
While India is distinctive among developing countries for its fast-growing service sector, sceptics have raised doubts about the quality and sustainability of this service-sector growth and its implications for economic development. We show, consistent with the views of the sceptics, that while growth of the sector has been unusually rapid, it started 15 years ago from unusually low levels. That the share of services has now simply converged to the international norm raises questions about whether it will continue growing rapidly. In particular, whether service-sector output and employment continue to grow in excess of international norms will depend on the continued expansion of modern services (business services, communication and banking) but, also, on the application of modern information technology to more traditional services (retail and wholesale trade, transport and storage, public administration and defense ). The second aspect obviously has more positive implications for output than for employment. We also show that the modern services that are growing most rapidly are now large enough where their future performance could have a significant macroeconomic impact. The expansion of modern service-sector employment is not simply disguised manufacturing activity. Finally, we show that the mix of skilled and unskilled labor in manufacturing and services is increasingly similar. It is no longer obvious therefore that manufacturing is the main destination for the vast majority of Indian labor moving into the modern sector and that modern services are a viable destination only for the highly-skilled few. We conclude that sustaining economic growth and raising living standards will require shifting labor into both manufacturing and services.
|Date of creation:||Feb 2011|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Barry Eichengreen & Poonam Gupta, 2011. "The Service Sector as India’s Road to Economic Growth?," India Policy Forum, National Council of Applied Economic Research, vol. 7(1), pages 1-42.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Poonam Gupta & James P. F. Gordon, 2004. "Understanding Indiaâ€™s Services Revolution," IMF Working Papers 04/171, International Monetary Fund.
- Ingo Borchert & Aaditya Mattoo, 2009.
"The Crisis Resilience of Services Trade,"
World Bank Other Operational Studies
11123, The World Bank.
- Barry Bosworth & Susan M. Collins & Arvind Virmani, 2006.
"Sources of Growth in the Indian Economy,"
India Policy Forum,
Global Economy and Development Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 3(1), pages 1-69.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16757. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.