Stemming Illicit Financial Outflows Jomo Kwame Sundaram

International capital flows are now more than 60 times the value of trade flows. The Bank of International Settlements (BIS) is now of the view that large international financial transactions do not facilitate trade, and that excessive financial ‘elasticity' has been a major cause of recent financial crises. Illicit financial outflows  Illicit financial flows involve financial movements from one country to another, especially when funds are illegally earned, transferred, and/or utilized. Some examples include: A cartel using trade-based money laundering techniques to mix legal money, say from the sale of used cars, with illegal money, e.g., from drug sales; An…

Marital Breakdown in India C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh

Although divorce rates are low in India, separation is the dominant form of marital dissolution, and this is especially problematic for women because of the uncertain legal status and lack of rights. Marital_Breakdown_India  (Download the full text in PDF format) (This article was originally published in the Business Line on February 27, 2017)  

Budget 2017-18: Social spending Jayati Ghosh

The Modi government over the past three years has not been noted for its generosity towards the social sector and spending to meet goals of improving human development. Indeed, if the past were any guide, there would be little reason to expect much increase in social sector budgetary outlays on the part of the central government. However, this year, for various reasons, analysts were led to expect that there would be at least some change from the fiscal disdain the government has shown in the past to this area. After all, the failed demonetisation has severely dented living standards of…

“Government by Discussion” Prabhat Patnaik

Professor Amartya Sen in his new book Collective Choice and Social Welfare which is a considerably expanded and updated version of his 1970 book with the same title, emphasizes that democracy must be understood as “government by discussion”. The idea of democracy being “government by discussion” really belongs to John Stuart Mill, though this particular phrase was coined by Walter Bagehot. The appeal of the idea lies in the fact that if government decisions are taken after public deliberations, then their opaqueness disappears; associated with it is a narrowing of the gap between those who “govern” and those who are…

Budget 2017-18: Blinded by neoliberalism C. P. Chandrasekhar

In an insipid speech that was repeatedly misread, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented on 1 February the contours of a budget that was shockingly short of substance. It left disappointed those who expected that policies to compensate sections hurt by the demonetisation experiment would be included and those who were looking for some measures to counter the demand slump afflicting the economy that had been aggravated by the demonetisation. It also surprised those who thought that the budget would be forced to expand aggregate expenditure and social spending to win voter support in the elections to the five assembly elections…

Free trade agreements, Trade Policy and Multilateralism

  The rapid, if sometimes unsteady expansion of international trade from the late 1980s came to an abrupt end from 2009[1] as many large developed economies adopted more ‘protectionist’ policies to address balance of payments problems exacerbated by the 2008-2009financial crisis. This U-turn brought a halt to an extraordinary period of rapid trade expansion due to much greater international specialization, especially with the spread of ‘international value chains’ in production.   Free trade agreements Freetrade agreements (FTAs) are generally presumed to promote trade liberalization. While FTAs typically reduce some barriers to the international trade in goods and services, various provisions…

Euroland: Will the Netherlands be the next domino to fall? Servaas Storm

The Dutch go the polls on March 15, a few weeks ahead of the French vote to choose the successor to Président François Hollande and well before Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel seeks a fourth term in September. The Dutch vote takes on a wider European significance, however, because Dutch voters — who rebelled against a EU ‘constitution’ in 2005 and last year rejected the association treaty between the EU and Ukraine in a referendum — have in the past proved to be a good gauge of European sentiment. Click to read the full article

Call for Papers for the workshop on “The Political Economy of the Crisis and Economic Restructuring: History, Dynamics, Implications and Lessons”, Lisbon, 12-13 October, 2017.

The Centre for African, Asian and Latin American Studies of the Lisbon School of Economics and Management (CEsA and ISEG) invites call for papers for a workshop on the generic topic of “The Political Economy of the Crisis and Economic Restructuring: History, Dynamics, Implications and Lessons”. The workshop, which is designed for specialists and other interested parties, will take place in Lisbon, on the 12th and 13th of October 2017, at ISEG. Abstracts of papers should be submitted by the 31st of May, 2017. Authors of the accepted abstracts will be notified by the Committee by the 20th of June, 2017, and will subsequently be required to submit…

Call for Papers for the 65th Annual Conference of the Japan Society of Political Economy (JSPE), October 28-29, 2017, Chuo University,Tokyo Japan.

This year marks 150 years since the publication of Marx’s Capital and 100 years since the publication of Lenin’s Imperialism. Both books have played essential roles in advancing knowledge of capitalism both theoretically and historically.Yet, intense controversy has swirled around the legacies of each.However,the most precise understanding to date is that we should analyse the deep structural operating system of capitalism grounded in Marx’s Capital as the basic theory of capitalism. Lenin’s Imperialism is best apprehended as the pioneering attempt to build a stage theory of capitalist development. In the 65th annual conference of the JSPE we will discuss the…

Washington Rules Change, Again Jomo Kwame Sundaram

Over the last four decades, the Washington Consensus, promoting economic liberalization, globalization and privatization, reversed four decades of an earlier period of active state intervention to accelerate and stabilize more inclusive economic growth, associated with Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John Maynard Keynes. The Golden Age The US Wall Street Crash of 1929 led to the Great Depression, which in turn engendered two important policy responses in 1933 with lasting consequences for generations to come: US President Roosevelt’s New Deal and the 1933 Glass-Steagal Act. While massive spending following American entry into the Second World War was clearly decisive in ending…