The Macroeconomics of Basic Income Grants Jayati Ghosh

In a time of short or no historical memory, it is easy to believe that some ideas are completely novel and innovative. So it is with the idea of the “Universal Basic Income”, which is getting much exposure in both developed and developing countries as a fundamentally new policy to deal with contemporary inequalities and the increasing uncertainty around employment generation. I have already considered some of the advantages and concerns with this idea, specifically in the Indian context, in a previous column (http://www.frontline.in/columns/Jayati_Ghosh/a-universal-basic-income-in-india/article9511636.ece). But it is worth looking in more detail at the history of this idea, and some…

China’s Labour Market Conundrum C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh

Has China's labour market reached a point where long years of high growth have led to demand outstripping supply, resulting in a sharp rise in wages? China_Labour (Download the full text in PDF format) (This article was originally published in the Business Line on July 4, 2017.)

The Question of Farm-loan Waiver Prabhat Patnaik

The question of farm-loan waiver that is being demanded by the peasantry is much misunderstood. Such a waiver, it is argued by critics, would vitiate the credit-culture in the country: people would stop repaying loans henceforth in expectation of waivers on them. Since the UPA government had waived farm-loans a few years ago and now again there is a demand for a farm-loan waiver, peasants, they contend, are getting into a habit of not paying loans and demanding periodic waivers instead. Somebody, it is further added, has to bear the burden of the loan after all; and if the peasants…

The Economy Under Modi Prabhat Patnaik

The Modi government’s record in tacitly supporting the actions of  a bunch of vigilante thugs who have been terrorizing the country, especially the Muslims and the dalits, in the guise of gaurakshaks, or opponents of love jihad, or “nationalists”, has been so outrageous that it has grabbed all the critical attention. In the process the government’s abysmal failures in other spheres has gone virtually unnoticed. One such sphere is the economy whose dismal state is sought to be camouflaged by hyped-up figures of growth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In fact, GDP figures these days engage one like an…

A Simple Arithmetic Prabhat Patnaik

The Modi government is completing three years in office amid much fanfare and propaganda about its achievements during this period. Aiding this propaganda is the advance estimate of GDP which projects a growth-rate of 7.11 percent for 2016-17, a shade lower than last year’s 7.93 percent, but apparently impressive nonetheless. Despite the fact that the Chief Statistician has clarified that these figures are based on data for only seven months (April-October) of the current fiscal year, and that the effects of demonetization are not captured by this figure the hype goes on undeterred. India’s statistical system has fallen on bad…

Neo-Liberal Capitalism and India’s Nationhood Prabhat Patnaik

India’s anti-colonial struggle was not just about getting independence from foreign rule. In fact, this struggle would not even have succeeded if it had been only about that. It was simultaneously, and indeed had to be, an effort to forge a new nation, of a sort that was not only unprecedented in modern world history (since the earlier emergence of nations in Europe had been part of an imperialist project which the anti-colonial struggle did not propose to emulate), but also represented, conceptually, a transformation of the country from a caste-ridden unequal society to one characterized by a fraternity of…

The Widening Gap between Rich and Poor Jayati Ghosh

We all know that the world is an unequal place, both across and within countries. We also know that across the world, people are expressing their anger and disgust at this inequality. This is increasingly revealed in extreme and often paradoxical political results. In the USA, a vote against the establishment has just delivered to power the ultimate crony capitalist, Donald Trump. In the United Kingdom people voted to leave the European Union in the false expectation that curbing migration will improve their own life chances. In India the poor, disgusted by a corrupt self-enriching elite, support a bizarre and…

The Terrible Simplifers: Common origins of financial crises and persistent poverty in economic theory and the new ‘1848 moment’ Erik S. Reinert

This paper argues that long periods of economic progress in the core countries lead to increasingly abstract and irrelevant economic theories, which leads to turning points towards more relevant economic theories, referred to as ‘1848 moments’. Terrible_Simplifers (Download the full text in PDF format) (This article was originally published under UN/DESA Working Papers series as DESA Working Paper No. 88)

Some Thoughts about Basic or Citizenship Income Gerry Rodgers

The idea that all citizens should receive an income, adequate to cover their basic living costs, without conditions, is not new. But it has in practice been a marginal, utopian idea without much political impact. In the past few years, however, it has received increasing attention. In a referendum on the subject in Switzerland it gathered a respectable although minority vote. One of the candidates for the French Socialist Party’s 2017 presidential nomination made it a central issue of his campaign. Green parties often favour the idea. There are a few local experiments under way. Advocates of the idea see…

Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century: Criticisms and debates Kang-Kook LEE

The author in this article critically examines the most important criticisms of Piketty and debates about his study in mainstream economics and underscores that Piketty’s argument has limitations and we need to develop a study of inequality that takes the perspectives of political economy into account more seriously. Piketty_Capital (Download the full text in PDF format) (This article was originally published in The Journal of Comparative Economic Studies, Vol.11, 2016, pp.151–170)