‘Shining’ in Rural India Abhijit Sen

With poor agricultural performance and stagnation in agricultural employment, rural India is definitely not ‘shining’. But access to the shine that exists, which the ‘shining’ campaign has made even more apparent, is now through networks where the ruling party is stronger. However, it remains to be seen whether this shift in balance will actually show up as an electoral win for the BJP. Shining_Rural_India  (Download the full text in PDF format)  

The Authoritarian Ambitions of Fluid Finance C.P. Chandrasekhar

The week ended April 30 witnessed a collapse in India's stock markets. On Wednesday, April 27, the Sensex fell by 213 points, wiping clean an estimated Rs. 55,000 crore of paper ''wealth''. This was the largest single-day decline in over three years. Over the rest of the week the markets moved further down, indicating that ''Black Wednesday'' was possibly not just a stray blip on the trading screen. With evidence that foreign institutional investors who were earlier pumping foreign currency into India's markets were holding back, the rupee too witnessed a reversal of the rise that excess dollar supplies had…

Broadband Marxism Chris Sprigman & Peter Lurie

Politicians and economists in developing countries searching for new technologies to create jobs and spur economic growth need look no further than their desks. The most vital technology for sparking development is a familiar and unglamorous one: the telephone. In many poor nations, telephone service is available only in large cities-at a price few can afford- and the more widely available mobile phone service remains expensive. As a result, at least 1.5 million villages in poor nations lack basic telephone service. Guatemala has just 65 telephones for every 1,000 people; Pakistan, 23; Nigeria, 5; and Burma, 4. By comparison, the…

Pleasure and Pain in Pakistan Jayati Ghosh

According to the international financial press, Pakistanis have much to smile about today, despite their cricket team's loss of the series against India. Certainly, according to the conventional economic indicators, there is source for some pleasure. Economic growth is up, after a dismal period of more than a decade, especially in the commodity-producing sector. Exports have increased substantially in the past year and the current account shows ever-growing surpluses. The exchange rate has largely remained within a narrow range, unlike the volatility of just a few years ago. Capital inflows are up, and the relatively small stock market has zoomed.…

Argentina at Crossroads: A Conflict of Interests Smitha Francis

Argentina’s latest standoff with the IMF reflects the enormity of the country’s debt problem and the conflicts between various lenders. A sustainable solution calls for the Fund to break the gridlock in debt restructuring negotiations, by sharing in the required debt reduction along with private creditors. Argentina_Crossroads (Download the full text in PDF format)

Governance at the IMF C.P. Chandrasekhar

The IMF never tires of advising developing countries to improve their governance practices. No cronyism, more transparency and less corruption are the refrain of most policy documents released by the more powerful of the Bretton Woods twins. Yet the debate over the choice of a new Managing Director for that institution reveals its own adoption of a non-transparent, closed-door, "informal" process. That process is part of an arrangement between the US and Europe, which "accepts" that the chief of the Fund has to be a European, while the head of the World Bank should always be an American. The current…

A Saint and A Sage: Paul Marlor Sweezy (1910 – 2004) Prabhat Patnaik

Paul Marlor Sweezy who died on February 28 was an outstanding intellectual, a part of a galaxy of Marxist economists which included, among others, Maurice Dobb, Michael Kalecki, Oskar Lange, Paul Baran and Josef Steindl. All of them worked, at least for long stretches of time, in the advanced capitalist world, where they not only enriched the Marxist tradition and influenced thousands of young scholars, but also made profound and original contributions to the discipline, making it more socially sensitive and relevant, and setting its intellectual agenda for nearly six decades. Sweezy came from a prosperous East Coast American family:…

Growth Rates under the NDA Government Jayati Ghosh and C.P. Chandrasekhar

The rate and pattern of economic growth under the NDA government had become a controversial issue after the ruling coalition decided to make its supposed delivery of “high growth” a campaign issue in the recently held elections. In this article, Jayati Ghosh and C.P. Chandrasekhar investigate the actual evidence on growth of GDP and the major sectors of the economy. Growth_Rates_NDA_Govt  (Download the full text in PDF format)