I think you will be interested in figures produced by Professor Angus
Maddison estimating India's wealth relative to world GDP for the years
1000, 1500, 1600, 1700. His work, published by the Organisation for
Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), shows that India and
China used to be front runners for the title of "richest country".
India's share of world GDP is given as slightly more than a quarter in
the year 1000, and slightly less than a quarter between 1500 and 1700.
GDP in millions of dollars
Year 1000 1500 1600 1700
India 33 750 60 500 74 250 90 750
China 26 550 61 800 96 000 82 800
Western Europe 10 165 44 345 65 955 83 395
World Total 116 790 247 116 329 417 371 369
The complete table is available in pdf format by going to Professor
Scroll down to the list of his books and click on "The World Economy:
A Millennial Perspective".
On the next page select "sample tables".
Then choose "World GDP, 20 Countries and Regional Totals, 0-1998 AD".
Alternatively, the figures are in an Excel table which you can
download from the link at the bottom of Maddison's homepage.
Maddison discusses his approach and sources in:
"Appendix B: World Population and GDP before 1820"
"HS-8 The World Economy 1-2001 AD"
"Research Objectives & Results, 1952-2002"
(All available from his homepage)
If you are interested in buying the book, here's one possibility:
The World Economy: A Millennial Perspective (Development Centre Studies)
by Angus Maddison, Donald Johnston, Organisation for Economic Cooperation
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (April 1, 2001)
I found Maddison's website after reading an article which mentioned his work.
"At the close of the sixteenth century, India?s wealth sustained more
than a hundred million people. There was an abundance of arable land
and the state of Indian agriculture compared favourably with any of
the western European countries. Right down to the subsistence-oriented
peasant, everyone saw a good return on land and labour. There was a
large and vigorous skilled workforce turning out not just cotton but
luxury items for the barons, courts and ruling classes. Consequently,
the economy produced a fabulous financial surplus. For example, the
annual revenues of the Moghul emperor Aurangzeb (1659-1701) are said
to have amounted to $450 million or more than ten times those of his
contemporary Louis XIV of France. According to an estimate of 1638,
the Moghul court of India had accumulated a treasure equivalent to
$1.5 billion. By the early eighteenth century, India was the leading
manufacturing country in the world. Of course, ?manufacturing? then
meant handloom textiles and handicrafts. The economist Angus Maddison
states that India, at that time, had a 22.6 per cent share of the
world?s GDP. Paul Bairoch confirms that it had a 25 per cent share of
the global trade in textiles. ?More important,? he writes, ?there was
a large commercialized sector with a highly sophisticated market and
credit structure, manned by a skilful and in many instances very
wealthy commercial class.? Methods of production and of industrial and
commercial organization could stand comparison with those in vogue in
any other part of the world. India had developed an indigenous banking
system. Merchant capital had emerged with an elaborate network of
agents, brokers and middlemen. Its bills of exchange were honoured in
all the major cities of Asia."
Other excerpts and links which may interest you:
"The historian Angus Maddison has painstakingly constructed the
structure of world income over the past three centuries and shows us
that in 1700, before the dawn of the industrial era, India, China and
Europe accounted for similar shares of world income. Each had a near
23% share of world income. "
PM's address at The Indira Gandhi Conference: ?India: The next decade?
November 19, 2004
"As Andre Gunder Frank points out, China and India were the two great
regions most central to the world economy.
India?s competitiveness was explained by its relative and absolute
productivity in textiles, by its domination of the world market in
cotton goods; that of China by its even greater productivity in
industry and agriculture, and in river transport and trade. "
"The core regions, especially of industrial production, were in China
and India; and West Asia and Southeast Asia also remained economically
more important than Europe. Likewise, China and India were the primary
centres of the accumulation of capital in the world system, and China
was in overall balance of trade surplus throughout most of this
period. Indeed, Europe was in deficit with all regions to the East.
West Asia was in surplus with Europe, but in deficit with India. India
was in surplus westward but in deficit eastward to Southeast Asia and
China, whence India re-exported bullion received from the West. In
political terms, the hegemonic influence of China, India, and the
Ottomans was considerably greater than that of the Europeans. Asian
hegemony was not seriously threatened before the second half of the
Asian-based world economy 1400-1800: A horizontally integrative macrohistory
By Andre Gunder Frank, University of Amsterdam
12 November 1995
" . . India produced about 25 percent of world industrial output in 1750 . . "
I trust this is of interest and meets your needs. Please let me know
if you have a query about this answer, or if any of the links fail to
work properly, and I'll do my best to help.
Best wishes - Leli
Search which led to an article mentioning Maddison's work:
india rich moghul wealth century gdp