GBUS 8390: India in the World Economy


With more than 1.3 billion people (18% of world population) and a 2.5 trillion USD economy, India has been among the fastest-growing economies in the world over the last two decades. However, growth has slowed to 5% in 2019, with low business confidence, declining investment and rising inequality within the country. Government debt remains high (70% of GDP) and external vulnerabilities, especially with a depreciating rupee and dependence on oil imports remains a concern. Is India poised for high growth in the next decade? What are the salient features and challenges faced by the Indian economy? Can we apply learnings from the Indian experience more broadly to other emerging markets?


Using existing macroeconomic frameworks developed in core GEM along with new microeconomic frameworks relating to Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs), this course proposes to to critically examine the development challenges facing India. Topics include (a) examining the impact of digitizationódoes internet complement or disrupt markets? who benefits and who loses?; (b) what are constraints faced by small businesses?; (c) how does the bureaucracy shape economic development across countries and specifically, in India?; (d) how important is the role of female labor force participation (both as entrepreneurs and employees) and what are challenges they face in the labor market? While focused on India, the course will aim to discuss topics and develop a broad set of tools that can be applied to other emerging markets as well.

Academic Course Objectives

       Critically examine various economic aspects of the Indian economy.

       Apply macroeconomic frameworks covered in core GEM (such as the Solow Model and 3P models) to analyze various policy decisions and current issues.

       Develop new microeconomic frameworks to evaluate policy and business decisions using Randomized Controlled Trials.

       Link the insights from the Indian economy more broadly to challenges faced in other emerging economies across the world.

Elements of the Course Grade

       Class participation: ††† 25%

       Quizzes: †††††††††††††††††††† 15%

       Final project: †††††††††††† 60%