Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



Measurement of Structural Change in the Pakistan Economy: A Review of the National Income Estimates 1949/50 to 1963/64

A number of national income estimates are available for pre-Partition India. Many of these estimates, especially those pertaining to the last quarter of the 19th and the early 20th centuries, had their origin in political controversy. The estimators were mainly concerned with proving or refuting the idea that the per capita income was very low and that the government had failed to improve the economic conditions of the masses[6]. The earlier estimates were based on scanty data but as time passed, the basic statistics as well as the methods of income estima¬tion improved. The studies of national income of British India, undertaken by Dr. V.K.R.V. Rao, were exhaustive and comprehensive and still serve as a useful reference for all those who are interested in the history of national income estimation in India [14]. Because of the general lack of economic data in India, Dr. Rao conducted a number of ad hoc enquiries in different parts of India to fill in the existing gaps in data. The various estimates of per capita income in India before Partition are shown in Appendix Table A-I. These estimates are at current prices. Because of differences in concepts and methodology, these estimates are not entirely comparable and are to be regarded as rough approximations of per capita net national product at factor cost.

Asbjorn Bergan, Taufiq M. Khan

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