India at 62nd Position on World Economic Forum's Inclusive Development Index

Marco Green
January 23, 2018

The ranking marks an improvement on Ireland's 12th place among 29 advanced economies in a similar report published by the WEF, organisers of the annual Davos conference taking place this week.

In a surprisingly stark warning about the impact of short-termism, the WEF calls for a new way of assessing national accomplishment beyond gross domestic product (GDP), a measure it says fuels increasing income and wealth inequality. Meanwhile, World Economic Forum (WEF) is set to host its annual meeting which will be attended by several world leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump.

The WEF gathering of the world's political and corporate leaders, alongside a smattering of celebrities, at Davos every year since 1971 has itself been criticised over the decades for its perceived elitist nature. Although India was ranked lower than Brazil, Russia, China and even Pakistan, it was among the 10 emerging economies with "advancing" trend. The UK came in 22nd and the USA 23rd, with Italy, Portugal and Greece taking the bottom three slots on the list of 29 countries. Last year, India was ranked 60th among 79 developing economies last year, as against China's 15th and Pakistan's 52nd position.

Norway is once again the world's most inclusive advanced economy while Lithuania tops the list of emerging economies. Latin America also performs well, with three countries featured in the top 10: Panama (6), Uruguay (8) and Chile (9).

In the list of top five emerging economies, Lithuania, Hungary, Azerbaijan, Latvia, and Poland are in top five.

The report points out that while China ranks first among emerging economies in GDP per capita growth (6.8 per cent) and labor productivity growth (6.7 per cent) since 2012, its overall score is brought down by lackluster performance on inclusion.

IDI data suggest that relatively strong GDP growth can not be relied upon by itself to generate inclusive socio-economic progress and rising median living standards. A majority, 16 of 29, have seen Inclusion deteriorate, and the remaining three have remained stable. When measured by adjusted net savings, carbon intensity of GDP, public debt and the dependency ratio (the so-called Intergenerational Equity and Sustainability pillar), 22 out of 29 recorded either a mediocre or outright poor performance. This message is particularly relevant at a time when global economic growth is returning to a more robust level and policy-makers could do more to future-proof their economies and make them more equitable. Policy-makers need a new dashboard focused more specifically on this goal.

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