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RE: Thailand? You said? RE: Population



On Fri, 22 May 1998, Charudatt wrote:

> Sanjeev,
> 
> Do you have any numbers on the corresponding economic growth in these
> countries over this period. I'm not sure that Thailand experienced
> growth as rapid as S. Korea or HK. It would be useful to factor that
> into our analysis. Also are there numbers for different measures of
> growth available- e.g. not just per capita GNP but, say, mean income,
> milk and protein consumption?

Dear Charu,

I really like these signs of scientific awakening: questioning the facts,
and attempting to study the reality oneself. There is no substitute to
convincing yourself about the reality.

Please go to 

http://hicks.nuff.ox.ac.uk/Economics/Growth/datasets.htm

and pick up (download) virtually any data that you like. If a particular
data is not available, there are other sources, and I'll be very glad to
be of help. 

In this particular case, from the Penn World Tables version 5.6, I have
the following to report:
				India		Thailand

Real GDP per capita (Laspeyres)
	1950			582		854
	1990			1284		3570
	
	Growth rate, 1950-90	2% p.a.		3.65% p.a.

Actually, comparisons should be made between 1965-90 since that is when
fertility declines started dramatically in Thailand (and to some extent in
India) since open economy policies were introduced in Thailand in the
early 60s, as was the case in most SE nations.

I leave it to you as homework to submit those results to the group (!) 

In this context, please remember that the actual outcome is a complex
function of many variables, including observable and unobservable ones. 
The policy variables are often unobservable, such as "nationalistic
feeling." So, drawing conclusions has to be based on a theoretical
framework, too. 

By the way, thanks for being interested in actual data. I do believe that
like any other science, economic science has progressed only after it
compiled and compared data with policies, and tested various theories
empirically. This task was started essentially by Kuznets, who won a Nobel
Prize in 1971 for opening a completely new approach toward economic
analysis.

By the way, the book that I cited earlier, called "The East Asian Miracle"
is replete with excellent simple charts, regression analysis and
correlation analysis that anyone should be able to follow, if they are
interested in discovering the facts themselves rather than listening to
rhetoric from any direction (including mine!).

I might add that this book by the World Bank (please do not have any gut
reactions against the World Bank: they do possess thousands of high
quality researchers, much higher in quality than what we have in our great
Planning Commission, in any case) has missed out critical ingredients to
the story, which were illuminated in the last year during the Asian
Crisis, but that is true with any science. No scientific inquiry is
perfect for all times to come.

Sanjeev