The End of Globalization? Prabhat Patnaik

Donald Trump’s recipe for reviving employment in the U.S. economy is to impose restrictions on imports from other countries. If at the same time he had taken steps to increase the level of aggregate demand in the U.S. in other ways, such as through increasing State expenditure financed by a fiscal deficit, then restricting imports from other countries would not lead to a reduction in the magnitude of such imports in absolute terms. It would not, in such a case, cause any unemployment in other countries for the sake of boosting employment in the U.S. Put differently, it would not…

Can the SDGs be financed? Jomo Kwame Sundaram and Anis Chowdhury

Investment in the least developed countries (LDCs) will need to rise by at least 11 per cent annually through 2030, a little more than the 8.9 per cent between 2010 and 2015, in order for them to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The United Nations' World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2017 focuses on the difficulties in securing sufficient financing for the SDGs given e global financial system and current economic environment. Big financing gaps The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)'s 2014 World Investment Report estimated that developing countries would need US$2.5 trillion annually until 2030…

Negative Interest Rates: A symptom of the crisis or instrument for recovery C.P. Chandrasekhar

The failure of the macroeconomic stance of shifting away from fiscal policy to an almost exclusive reliance on monetary policy has led to the phenomenon of negative rates in countries other than the United States, and the first sign of even a partial recovery in that country has been enough to set off a reversal. negative_interest_rates (Download the full text in PDF format) This article was originally published in the Economic & Political Weekly, March 25, 2017 vol. LII no. 12

The Persistence of Child Marriage Jayati Ghosh

It is commonplace to note that women tend to have low status and little autonomy over much of Indian society. This is reflected in many distressing features that have persisted and even intensified in recent years despite all the talk of modernisation: the low and falling rates of female participation in recognised employment; adverse child sex ratios that appear to be even worse among more well-off groups; increases in recorded cases of violence against women. But there is one very startling feature that gets relatively little attention: the continuing prevalence of child marriage across most parts of the country. According…

Interpreting Trump’s Trade Diplomacy C.P. Chandrasekhar

As Donald Trump settles into his Presidency and his surprise economic appointees begin to travel the world, signals as to what the external economic agenda of the United States would be during Trump’s term are emerging. One such signal was the unwillingness of the US Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, while attending the G20 summit of finance ministers and central bankers at Baden Baden over 17-18 March, to accept the old normal that any departure from global free trade was taboo. Conventionally, every communique from G 20 summits since the first in 2008 had committed to “resist all forms of protectionism”.…

Asymmetric Exchange Rate Policy in Inflation Targeting Developing Countries Ahmet Benlialper, Hasan Comert and Nadir Ocal

Most of the developing countries that adopted inflation targeting experienced large appreciations in their currencies before the global crisis. This paper examines whether central banks in developing countries have different policy stances with respect to depreciation and appreciation in order to hit their inflation targets. 01_2017  (Download the full text in PDF format)

Final Call: Revolutions conference organised by the Geopolitical Economy Research Group, September 29-October 1, 2017, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.

In the 100th anniversary year of the Russian Revolutions, the conference focuses on the theme of revolutions, including their widespread and widely varying causes, contexts, conditions and consequences. It will feature keynote addresses from four very accomplished speakers whose work is representative of the diverse features and geographies of revolutions past and present: Julia Buxton of the Central European University; Ruslan Dzarasov of the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, Domenico Losurdo of the Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo, and Gong Yun of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The conference will benefit greatly from the contributions of these scholars, as well as from the generous support of…

Sweetened Research, Sugared Recommendations Jomo Kwame Sundaram and Tan Zhai Gen

In 2015, Coca Cola's chief scientist was forced to resign after revelations that the company had funded researchers to present academic papers recommending exercise to address obesity and ill health, while marginalizing the role of dietary consumption. Coca-Cola, the world's largest producer of sugary beverages, had provided millions of dollars to fund researchers to downplay the links between sugar and obesity, tooth decay and non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Corrupt research This was not new. In September 2016, a New York Times article highlighted a JAMA Internal Medicine research article showing that sugar industry interests had paid scientists in the 1960s to…

Once More on “The Humbug of Finance” Prabhat Patnaik

The renowned economist Joan Robinson had referred to the view that the government’s budget should always be balanced, as the “humbug of finance” (Robinson 1962), namely as a false proposition with no theoretical merit which was nonetheless promoted by finance capital. These days of course the insistence is not exactly on balancing the budget as was the case during the pre-second world war years. A certain amount of fiscal deficit relative to GDP, usually 3 percent, is considered “permissible”, though it is not clear what is so sacrosanct about the figure 3 and why 3 is better than zero. But…

Narendra Modi on Poverty Prabhat Patnaik

In his speech to BJP workers in Delhi after the Assembly election results had been declared, Narendra Modi announced that his policy henceforth would be to empower the poor by providing them with opportunities, instead of handing out doles to them, which, he believes, is what the various “pro-poor” welfare programmes amount to. Newspapers were quick to underscore, and in general laud, this shift in approach from “welfarism” to “development”. Since government policy is set to reflect this shift from now on, its implications are worth examining. Nobody obviously prefers “doles” to development, neither the recipients of these “doles” nor…