Jeff Bezos could be Wrong C.P. Chandrasekhar

Amazon founder and Chief Executive, Jeff Bezos, has given America’s ailing newspaper industry cause for cheer. In a move that still baffles most market watchers, Bezos as Bezos, and not through Amazon, has bought The Washington Post for $250 million, or 17 times its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) according to market estimates. That kind of premium makes little sense even for a profitable venture, which The Post is not. The newspaper division of The Washington Post Co., which notched up losses of $21 million in 2010 and $54 million in 2012, has reportedly already lost $49…

Is South-South Economic Interaction Any Better for Poor Countries? Jayati Ghosh

It used to be believed that that economic interaction between developing countries (South-South integration) would necessarily be more beneficial than North-South links. The latter were seen as reproducing the global division of labour that emerged by the mid 20thcentury, whereby much of the developing world essentially specialised in primary commodities and labour-intensive (and therefore lower productivity) manufactured goods, while the North kept the monopoly of high value added production. By contrast, trade and investment links between countries in the Global South were supposed to allow for more diversification because of their more similar stages of development, thus creating more synergies.…

Catching Up and Knowledge Governance Rainer Kattel

The author provides a theoretical framework that makes it possible to create a taxonomy of knowledge governance regimes and elucidate what is needed for catching-up strategies. Knowledge_Governance (Download the full text in PDF format) (This chapter has been published in the volume “Knowledge Governance: Reasserting the Public Interest,” edited by Leonardo Burlamaqui, Ana Célia Castro and Rainer Kattel. London: Anthem Press, 2012. ISBN: 9780857285355.)

India’s Supermarket Move Shows its Tired Government has Run Out of Ideas Jayati Ghosh

India's ruling coalition has been rocked after its second-largest partner withdrew this week. The latest round of political instability comes about because Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced a number of economic measures without consulting his allies. The announcements – that diesel prices were to be raised, and that India's retail and domestic aviation sectors were to be opened up to overseas companies such as Tesco – were the government's attempt to woo back foreign investors who had become cynical about India's growth prospects. The opposition parties protested against these measures with a nationwide strike today. More damaging for the government is the…

Labour Market Regulations and Economic Outcomes: Some capital lessons and minor messages Praveen Jha, Sakti Golder and Swayamsiddha Panda

This paper provides a survey of the empirical evidence on the relationship between labour market institutions and economic outcomes. Survey of major cross-country empirical constructs that examine linkages between labour regulations and different aspects of economic performance such as employment, growth, etc., shows that the empirical basis for the advocacy of blanket labour market flexibility is rather weak. The paper also highlights some key empirical findings from the organised manufacturing sector in India and postulates some capital lessons and minor messages that emerge from such an exercise. Labour_Market (Download the full text in PDF format)

The Queen and her Guards Jayati Ghosh

From the middle of May onwards, media in Britain have been completely obsessed with the celebrations of the diamond jubilee of the reign of Queen Elizabeth. By the first week of June, when the formal festivities took place, the obsession had transmitted to the public, such that even otherwise sensible people seemed to talk of little else. While not quite commanding the same cachet as a royal wedding, this particular landmark has also been milked for all it is worth by the government as a “once in a lifetime party” to celebrate sixty years of rule, even if only titular…

ILO Leadership Election Must not be Another Charade Jayati Ghosh

Later this month, the governing body of the International Labour Organisation is due to elect a new director-general. This election has not received as much attention as the recent appointments of other institutions like the IMF and the World Bank. Even so, it could have important consequences for the world and most of its population. The candidacy of Jomo Kwame Sundaram represents an important chance for the ILO to move to centre stage in developing strategies to counter the global turbulence and move towards more stable, equitable and democratic paths. The past two decades have not been particularly kind to…

Affordable Medicine: A big step forward C.P. Chandrasekhar

India’s long struggle to ensure access to affordable medicines for its people recently took a positive and interesting turn. In early March 2012, just before he demitted office, Controller of Patents P. H. Kurien passed an order on an application filed by Hyderabad headquartered Natco Pharma requesting a license to produce a cancer drug (Sorafenib  Tosylate), the patent for which is held by German pharmaceuticals and chemicals giant Bayer. Bayer produces and markets the drug under the brand name Nexavar, which is used in the treatment of patients diagnosed as being in the advanced stages of affliction with liver or…