Eclipse: Living in the Shadow of China's Economic Dominance

by Arvind Subramanian
September 2011
Book Description

In his new book, Arvind Subramanian presents the following possibilities: What if, contrary to common belief, China's economic dominance is a present-day reality rather than a faraway possibility? What if the renminbi's takeover of the dollar as the world's reserve currency is not decades, but mere years, away? And what if the United States's economic pre-eminence is not, as many economists and policymakers would like to believe, in its own hands, but China's to determine?

Subramanian's analysis is based on a new index of economic dominance grounded in a historical perspective. His examination makes use of real-world examples, comparing China's rise with the past hegemonies of Great Britain and the United States. His attempt to quantify and project economic and currency dominance leads him to the conclusion that China's dominance is not only more imminent, but also broader in scope, and much larger in magnitude, than is currently imagined. He explores the profound effect this might have on the United States, as well as on the global financial and trade system. Subramanian concludes with a series of policy proposals for other nations to reconcile China's rise with continued openness in the global economic order, and to insure against China becoming a malign hegemon.

Selected chapters and sections are provided for preview only.




1. A Brief History of Economic Dominance [pdf]

2. Quantification and Validation of Economic Dominance

3. Quantifying Currency Dominance

4. Forces Driving Dominance: Convergence and Gravity

5. Projecting Economic and Currency Dominance

6. A Historical Perspective on China's Distinctive Dominance

7. Guarding Against Rash Prophesying

8. Diagnosis of Economic Cooperation with a Rising China

9. China as the New Raison d'Être for Reviving Multilateralism [pdf]

Postscript: America Resurgent or American Vulnerable? [pdf]


Index [pdf]


Will the Chinese Be Supreme?
The New York Review of Books
April 4, 2013

Can India Catch Up with China?
Video interview on CNBC Asia
September 10, 2012

Why the Skies Are for Readers
Interview in the Wall Street Journal's Road Warrior column
August 27, 2012

US Role to Fade with China Calling Shots as Creditor
Interview on RT
June 5, 2012

American Nightmare
Review in the Financial Times by Gideon Rachman
March 16, 2012

Imagining the Day China Eclipses America
Excerpt posted at
March 12, 2012

What Economist Arvind Subramanian Thinks of 'China 2030'
Review in Wall Street Journal: China Real Time Report
March 2, 2012

Taming the Dragon: One Scholar's Plan to Soften Chinese Dominance
Review in Wired Magazine
February 28, 2012

India's Greatest Minds
India Today
December 26, 2011

Foreign Policy Lists Reinhart and Subramanian among World's Top 100 Thinkers
News Release
November 28, 2011

The Rise of China [pdf]
Review in Economic & Political Weekly
November 19, 2011

Will Anyone Rescue Europe from Its Economic Crisis?
Review in the Washington Post
November 15, 2011

China's Role in European Crisis, Potential Rescue
Interview on Bloomberg
November 3, 2011

China Warily Eyes EU Bailout
Interview on NPR
November 3, 2011

China's Price For Bailing Out the EU
Interview on NPR On Point
November 1, 2011

Arvind Subramanian: China�s Ascendance
Video of book presentation at PopTech Conference 2011
October 20, 2011

From American Hegemony to Pax Sinica
Review in the Hong Kong Economic Journal
October 22, 2011

Review by Martin Wolf in the Financial Times
October 16, 2011

Three Big Thinkers at Davos on the Potomac
Review in MarketWatch
October 3, 2011

Guest Contribution: How to Value a Currency
Wall Street Journal RealTime Economics
Arvind Subramanian
October 3, 2011

In the Heat of the Sun
Review in Finance & Development
September 2011

How to tame a dominant China
Review in the Economic Times
September 28, 2011

China first middle-income nation on course to becoming superpower
Interview in the Economic Times
September 27, 2011

Is China Eclipsing the U.S.? Hardly
Review in the Wall Street Journal
September 21, 2011

The Yuan as the World's Main Reserve Currency
Debate in the Economist
September 20, 2011

A Sinopolar World
Review in the Business Standard
September 12, 2011

The Celestial Economy
Review in the Economist
September 10, 2011

In China's Shadow: Q&A with Arvind Subramanian
Review in the New York Forum
September 9, 2011

In The China Debate Continues
Review in the Wall Street Journal
September 9, 2011

Red Dawn: Why the United States Should Embrace, not Fear, China's Economic Rise
Review in Foreign Policy
September 6, 2011

Superpower China: Inevitable or Fragile?
Review in the Financial Times
September 1, 2011

China Yuan Could Challenge Dollar Role in a Decade
Review in Reuters
August 30, 2011

Economist Visualizes Chinese World Domination By 2021
Review in Business Insider
August 25, 2011

Eight Questions: Living in China's Shadow
Interview in Real Time Economics—Wall Street Journal
August 25, 2011

Eight Questions: Living in China's Shadow
Interview in China Real Time Report—Wall Street Journal
August 25, 2011

Countering China's Economic Dominance
Business Standard
Arvind Subramanian
August 24, 2011

The Inevitable Superpower: Why China's Dominance Is a Sure Thing
Foreign Affairs
Arvind Subramanian
August 23, 2011

Other Buying Options
Non-US customers: for faster service, please order through Eurospan.
Book Data

September 2011
ISBN paper 978-0-88132-606-2
236 pp.

Arvind Subramanian named one of Foreign Policy's Top 100 Global Thinkers

Commentaries on This Book

"Parts of 'Eclipse' read like a wonky version of 'Rising Sun,' Michael Crichton's 1992 novel of Japanese dominance over the U.S. when Tokyo was seen as speeding toward number one. But Mr. Subramanian is a first-class economist who uses his book to discuss provocatively U.S.-Chinese relations and the nature of economic power."

Wall Street Journal

"If you want to understand the true magnitude of the shift in economic power that is currently changing the world, Eclipse is the book to read—provocative, well argued and elegantly written."

—Liaquat Ahamed, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Lords of Finance

"Defying conventional wisdom, Eclipse not just vividly imagines, but provides a plausible scenario for, the replacement of the United States by China as the world's dominant economic power. It persuasively underlines the need for Washington to get its act together."

—Francis Fukuyama, Stanford University and author of The End of History and the Last Man and The Origins of Political Order

"Eclipse must be read for a refreshing and deep analysis of what may lie ahead. It is an extremely well written and thought provoking book."

—Mohamed El-Erian, Chief Executive, PIMCO and award-winning author of When Markets Collide

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