Angus Maddison, the famed British economic historian who passed away earlier this year, is best known for his estimates of world gross domestic product (GDP) that go back all the way to the year 1 AD. In recent times, his charts have been used to tell the fascinating story of how the share of India and China in world GDP used to be very high till about 1600 AD, but started declining thereafter as they missed the industrial revolution. With their current rapid growth, their share in the world economy is now rising once again.
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