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Will China be the World's largest economy in any year before 2040?

China is today one of the major economies in the world. It ranks second in terms of gross domestic product and it contributes about 36 percent to world growth. Due to the size of its economy, Chinese business cycle fluctuations potentially affect economies worldwide. The Chinese economy further has substantial effects on global poverty, global trade, climate change, and much else.

From the late 1970s, China saw an annual average growth rate of 9.9 per cent for more than three decades. This followed the introduction of reform and opening-up policies in 1978. In recent years, however, growth has slowed, to only 6.9 per cent in 2015. In Angus Maddison's book, The Outlook for China and the World Economy, he forecasts that China's GDP will surpass that of the United States in the first half of this century, and likely as soon as 2030.

China has seen an average of 9.8% GDP growth since the 1970s, far higher than the 2.8% average observed in the United States in the same period. Despite the recent slowdown in Chinese growth, its rates of Total Factor Productivity has been growing on average at twice the average rate in the United States (around 3% in China vs around 1.5% in the United States). Similarly, Chinese capital formation rates have tended to be almost twice capital formation rates in the United States.

Will China's GDP exceed United States GDP in at least 1 year by 2040?

This question resolves positive if China's GDP exceeds that of the United States in any 1 year before (and including) 2040. For the purpose of this question, we refer to data published by the World Bank that are adjusted for historical domestic prices.


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