Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Demographic Change and Economic Growth in India

Jain, Neha and Goli, Srinivas (2021): Demographic Change and Economic Growth in India.

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In this paper, we assess the economic benefits of demographic changes in India by employing econometric models and robustness checks based on panel data gathered over a period of more than three decades. Our analysis highlights four key points. First, the contribution of India’s demographic dividend is estimated to be around 1.9 percentage points out of 12% average annual growth rate in per capita income during 1981–2015. Second, India’s demographic window of opportunity began in 2005, significantly improved after 2011, and will continue till 2061. Third, our empirical analysis supports the argument that the realisation of the demographic dividend is conditional on a conducive policy environment with enabling aspects such as quality education, good healthcare, decent employment opportunities, good infrastructure, and gender empowerment. Fourth, the working-age population in India contributes around one-fourth of the inequality in per capita income across states. Thus, to reap the maximum dividends from the available demographic window of opportunity, India needs to work towards enhancing the quality of education and healthcare in addition to providing good infrastructure, gender empowerment, and decent employment opportunities for the growing working-age population.

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