Editor's Note: Click here to listen to this feature, which aired on public radio's Marketplace on September 14, 2009.
BILL RADKE, HOST OF PUBLIC RADIO’S MARKETPLACE: The phase “global recession” is much easier said than understood. How much do we know about the way people are living outside the United States? Our quizmaster Stephan Richter, publisher and editor-in-chief of the online magazine TheGlobalist.com, joins us to explore these questions. Good morning, Stephan.
STEPHAN RICHTER, PUBLISHER AND EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF THE GLOBALIST: Good morning, Bill. Are you ready for today’s quiz?
RADKE: I am. Let’s do it.
RICHTER: Everyone knows that Asia’s economic fortunes are rising — and no two emerging economies are as important as China and India.
RICHTER: But how do living standards in the two countries compare? Is China’s per person income the same as that in India? Is it double India’s, triple India’s or perhaps even four times India’s?
RADKE: That’s a tough one. I have heard that we overestimate how rich China is on this side of the Pacific. I am going to say they are about the same.
RICHTER: Not quite so.
RICHTER: To the pain of the average Indian, the Chinese make about $3,600 a year, on a current price basis. That is four times more than India, at $980 a year. That is much less than what the per capita income is in the United States. Any idea what that is, roughly?
RADKE: I’m not quite sure.
RICHTER: It’s $50,000 a year. So we are still making seven times more per person than the average Chinese, when purchasing power is taken into account. So both of those nations, as great strides as they are making, have a lot of catching up to do — and that should be good for global economic growth.
RADKE: Stephan, thank you for this perspective.
RICHTER: You’re welcome. See you next time.