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)

We Can Eliminate Hunger and Poverty Quickly with Greater Commitment Jomo Kwame Sundaram

Why do people go hungry? Mainly because they do not have the means to get enough food, whether by producing it themselves or by purchasing it. There is more than enough food to feed the world. All those who currently go hungry can be adequately fed with about two percent of current food production, much more of which is wasted or lost. The main problem is one of distribution or access, rather than production or availability. Inequality and poverty, and increasingly, ‘natural disasters' and armed conflict in the world are at the core of the problem of world hunger. While…

Focus on Inequality Prabhat Patnaik

The World Bank and the IMF have started a new trend of late, of taking “progressive” positions in their publications even while insisting on the same old “conditionalities” in policy negotiations with particular countries. In accordance with this new trend these institutions have now got concerned with issues of poverty and inequality; and the World Bank has just brought out what is supposed to be the first of a series of annual publications tracking progress towards poverty removal and curtailment of inequality. This publication is called Poverty and Shared Prosperity. While I do not wish to review this publication here,…

CETA without Blinders: How cutting ‘trade costs and more’ will cause unemployment, inequality and welfare losses Pierre Kohler and Servaas Storm

Contrary to the positive outcomes as projected by the proponents of CETA, this paper shows that it will lead to intra-EU trade diversion and in the current context of tepid economic growth, competitive pressures induced by CETA will cause unemployment, inequality and welfare losses. ceta (Download the full text in PDF format) (This article was originally published as GDAE Working Paper No. 16-03.)

Minimum Wage and the Poverty Line Prabhat Patnaik

The criteria for determining the minimum wage have evolved in India over a long period of time. The basic guidelines set at the Indian Labour Conference have been subsequently improved upon by the Supreme Court in the early 1990s. As of now, the principles for setting the minimum wage after all these modifications stand as follows. The basic family unit for which the calculation is made is supposed to consist of four persons, a husband, wife and two children. These two children together constitute one consuming unit, so that one can say that the family has three consuming units altogether.…

Growing Inequality: Cause and Consequence of Financial Crisis Mah-Hui Lim

Rising inequality is among the root causes of the recent global financial crisis; and quantitative easing, the pill that was supposed to be the cure, has not only been ineffective but also has produced unintended consequences of rising inequality. growing_inequality (Download the full text in PDF format) (Mah-Hui Lim was formerly a post-doctoral fellow at Duke University and Assistant Professor at Temple University in the US, and an international banker. He serves as a city councillor in Penang island, Malaysia.)