Growth of production in the major South Asian economies has been relatively rapid since 1980 and has accelerated compared to the 1970s. While this growth has been less rapid than that of major low-income East Asian economies, the difference in growth rates between these areas may have been exaggerated in popular discussions describing the East Asian ‘economic miracle’ (Chakravarty, 1990). However, faster population growth in most South Asian economies than in most East Asian economies has meant that per capita incomes in the former have grown at a much slower rate than in the latter. Some East Asian economies have completed demographic transition or are well on the way to doing so, even though there are notable exceptions such as the Philippines (Ogawa and Tsuya, 1993). Table 1 provides some supporting comparative data on growth of production and population in selected South and East Asian economies.


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