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Diagnosing development bottlenecks : China and India

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  • Li, Wei
  • Mengistae, Taye
  • Xu, Lixin Colin

Abstract

Although it had a a lower income level than India in 1980, China's 2006 per capita gross domestic product stands more than twice that of India's. This paper investigates the role of the business environment in explaining China's productivity advantage using recent firm-level survey data. The analysis finds that China has better infrastructure, more skilled workers, and more labor-hiring flexibility than India, but a worse access to finance and higher regulatory burden. Infrastructure appears to be a key constraint for India: it lags significantly behind China, yet it has important indirect effects for the effectiveness of labor flexibility. Labor flexibility is also likely a major constraint for India, as evident in the predominance of small firms, the importance of firm size in accounting for India's disadvantage in productivity, and the complementarity of proxies of labor flexibility with infrastructure and access to finance. Interestingly, regulatory uncertainty has adverse effects in India but not in China. The empirical analysis suggests that it is important to consider country-specific growth bottlenecks and the indirect effects of policy reforms.

Suggested Citation

  • Li, Wei & Mengistae, Taye & Xu, Lixin Colin, 2011. "Diagnosing development bottlenecks : China and India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5641, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5641
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    1. Chris Nyland & Charmine E.J. Härtel & Thin Vu & Cherrie Jiuhua Zhu, 2015. "Hospital Numerical Flexibility and Nurse Economic Security in China and India," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 53(1), pages 136-158, March.
    2. Harrison, Ann E. & Lin, Justin Yifu & Xu, Lixin Colin, 2014. "Explaining Africa’s (Dis)advantage," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 59-77.
    3. Dragan TEVDOVSKI & Vladimir FILIPOVSKI & Igor IVANOVSKI, 2014. "A Diagnostics Approach To Economic Growth In Small Open Economies: The Case Of The Republic Of Macedonia," Review of Economic and Business Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, issue 13, pages 47-68, June.
    4. Nurullah Gur, 2012. "Financial Constraints, Quality of Institutions and Firm Size: What Do Perceptions Tell Us?," Eurasian Economic Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 2(2), pages 17-36, December.

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    Keywords

    Environmental Economics&Policies; Labor Policies; Labor Markets; Banks&Banking Reform; E-Business;
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