“Chindia” is the word coined by the Indian politician, Jairam Ramesh, to denote the two Asian giants that contain 38 per cent of the world’s population between them. Nor is size their only similarity. Both are heirs of ancient civilisations; both were, until recently, desperately poor; and both are among the world’s fastest growing economies. Yet the differences are also striking. By looking carefully at them one can learn more about their prospects for continued growth. The economists’ technique of growth accounting helps shed a bright light on the story. A recent paper by Barry Bosworth and Susan Collins of the Washington-based Brookings Institution does just that*. It compares performance over the 1978-2004 period, but the years since 1993 are particularly interesting, since they succeed India’s post-1991 reforms. The remainder of Martin Wolf’s column can be read here (FT.com subscribers only). Discussion from our guest economists is free.