CODESRIA 2017 Gender Institute: Feminist Scholarship, Universities and Social Transformation in Africa

Application Deadline: 15 March 2018 Date: 14-25 May 2018 Venue: Dakar, Senegal The Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa, CODESRIA, invites applications from academics and researchers from African universities and research centers to participate in the 2017 session of the Gender institute, which will take place in Dakar, Senegal from May 14-25, 2018. Over the last two decades, CODESRIA has convened an annual gender institute to fortify efforts at integrating gender research and scholarship into the mainstream of social science in Africa. The overall objective of the gender institute continues to be to contribute to a…

Arming Poor Countries Enriches Rich Countries Anis Chowdhury and Jomo Kwame Sundaram

Although the Cold War came to an end over a quarter century ago, international arms sales only declined temporarily at the end of the last century. Instead, the United States under President Trump is extending its arms superiority over the rest of the world. The five biggest importers were India, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), China and Algeria. Indian arms imports increased by 43 per cent. Its imports during 2012–2016 were far greater than those of its regional rivals, China and Pakistan, as Pakistan’s arms imports declined by 28 per cent compared to 2007–2011. UAE imports increased by…

Palestine or How the Market fails without a State Heiner Flassbeck

Palestine is economically extremely dependent on Israel. Reducing this dependency must be the ultimate goal of the political effort to implement a two-state solution. However, in order for the Palestinian government to use its political power for the good, it is essential to understand the proper role of the state in the development process. Last week, I spent four days in Palestine. I was invited by the Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute (MAS) to deliver the ninth annual development lecture in memory of a pioneer of Palestinian political economy, Prof. Yusif Sayigh. The series aims at prompting a critical, heterodox…

Climate Change and Human Development: Extending the vision of Dr. Mahbub Ul Haq Sumanasiri Liyanage and Anuruddha Kankanamge

Climate change is not a “natural” disaster, but a creation of the system that is aimed in pursuit of private profit at increasing scale. The implications and effects of climate change can be considered as one of the key factors in determining not only the welfare of human being but also the existence of other life forms and our planet. The principal submission of this paper is, extending and advancing the insight of Dr. Mahbubul Haq and his team’s work on Human Development Index, to another important step by including the negative impact of climate change.  This paper uses carbondioxide…

Economic Recovery or A Statistical Illusion: Some Observations on Recent Estimates of GDP Growth Vikas Rawal

On November 30th, the Central Statistical Office (CSO) came out with quarterly estimates of GDP for the second quarter (June to Sep) of 2017. Predictably, analysts and spokespersons of the government spent the evening in newsrooms of various TV channels celebrating what they claimed was a sign of revival of the economy. Next morning, revival of economy was the front page news in almost every newspaper. If there was any adverse impact of demonetisation and GST, it was claimed, here was the evidence that such an impact was only short-term and had started to wane. The subtext was that the…

Strengthening Governments to Cope with PPPs Jomo Kwame Sundaram

Public-private partnerships (PPPs) have emerged in recent years as the development ‘flavour of the decade' in place of aspects of the old Washington Consensus. Instead of replacing the role of government or consigning it to the garbage bin of history, corporations are increasingly using governments to advance their own interests through PPPs. On the one hand, in a contemporary variant of previously condemned ‘tied aid', developed country governments have been persuaded to use their aid or overseas development assistance (ODA) budgets to promote their own national – read corporate – interests, e.g., by providing ‘blended finance' on concessional terms to…

Do Purchasing Power Parity exchange rates mislead on incomes? The case of China C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh

Ever since Larry Summers and Alan Heston produced what become known as the “Penn World Tables” comparing prices and thereby the purchasing power of currencies across countries, the urge to use some deflator of market exchange rates to compare incomes across countries has been strong. The economic theory behind this is that exchange rate comparisons of less-developed economies consistently undervalue the non-traded goods sector, especially labour-intensive and relatively cheap services, and therefore underestimate real incomes in these developing economies. In some cases, this can be quite significant. In larger emerging markets like China and India, the conversion factors have been…

Call for Papers for the Japanese Political Economy Journal

The Japanese Political Economy has now been rejuvenated and renewed with a new Editor, new Co-editors and new international Editorial Board. It continues Japanese Economic Studies; a leading journal published continuously since 1972. From 1997 to 2013, the journal was known as Japanese Economy. The Japanese Political Economy seeks to publish a wide range of scholarship that draws from multiple theoretical, empirical and methodological perspectives. The journal will be a resource for scholars, students, policymakers and practitioners who seek to better understand the contemporary and historical, transnational and internal processes of social and economic change in Japan, Asia and the…

Beware Public Private Partnerships Jomo Kwame Sundaram

Public-private partnerships (PPPs) are essentially long-term contracts, underwritten by government guarantees, with which the private sector builds (and sometimes runs) major infrastructure projects or services traditionally provided by the state, such as hospitals, schools, roads, railways, water, sanitation and energy. Embracing PPPs PPPs are promoted by many OECD governments, and some multilateral development banks – especially the World Bank – as the solution to the shortfall in financing needed to achieve development including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Since the late 1990s, many countries have embraced PPPs for areas ranging from healthcare and education to transport and infrastructure with problematic…

Banks and Non-performing Assets Prabhat Patnaik

What exactly constitutes a non-performing asset (NPA) of a bank is not easy to determine. Since banks tend to roll over credit to borrowers, whether the request for such a roll over arises in the normal course of business or owing to a fundamental inability to pay back the loan, is difficult to decide. The tendency of late therefore has been to see NPAs as an extreme case of a wider category called “stressed assets” which are defined according to certain criteria. The problem of NPAs has arisen in a serious form in recent times because of the change in…