Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Case for Emerging Markets

Fascinating chart over at The Big Picture showing the history of GDP. Below is my version showing GDP per capita for an assortment of countries going back 100 years.

What does this show?

Well, just playing catch up, China and Brazil can each grow 500% before they catch the United States (i.e. before current technological limitations impede growth) in GDP per capita terms while India has 1000% growth before catching up.

While catching up is not inevitable (just ask Japan), outsized growth over the next 20, 30, 50, 100 years likely is.

Source: GGDC


  1. this is good... what I have been looking for is the breakdown of GDP components (consumption, savings & investment) over a period of time for these countries... would be nice to see if China can grow forever based mostly on capital investment growth without significant contribution from consumption growth

    my hunch is that India on the other hand is growing with a large share of GDP coming from consumption... infrastructure investment is nowhere near China

  2. that would be interesting... let me see if i can dig anything up

  3. I wonder if GDP was ever closer earlier in their histories?

  4. Very cool. It would also be interesting to see previous GDP/Capita top percentage gainers from other periods and how they perform over time. My guess would be that after an initial phase of developing a middle class, growth drastically slows.


  5. Interesting charting. Can they really catch up or do we trend down given energy/food, etc considerations?

  6. depends whether or not it is all a zero sum game. i hope it's not...