Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The History of World GDP

A few dominant observations from this chart:
  • Italy, France, and Japan have had a consistent share of world GDP, although the Japanese industrial policy post-World War II was very successful by 1970. It has since tapered off.
  • Look at how the US took off after 1820!! People talk about China's economic miracle, but they've always had a significant share. The US was just a blip until 1820, when our economic miracle began, topping out as a share of world GDP by the 1970s. This decline has more to do with growth in the emerging economies and the breakup of the former communist states than it does with a decline in the US's output.
  • The Chinese have always been among the largest economies in the world. It's amazing what a dampening effect the revolution against the emporer through the takover of the communist regime had on GDP. And, conversely, the incredible growth that accompanied the loosening of the state's grip on the economy.
  • Similar to the Chinese story, the fact that India has always had such a large share of world GDP. Also, the negative impact that the socialist (as opposed to communist) and bureaucratic ecoomic policy had on India post-independence in the 1940s.