Indian IT hits a speedbump C. P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh

A sharp deceleration in growth and restricted employment expansion in the IT sector, India’s post-liberalisation showpiece, has implications beyond the industry’s boundaries. Indian_IT_Speedbump (Download the full text in PDF format) (This article was originally posted in the Business Line on November 20, 2017.)

Moody’s Upgrade Prabhat Patnaik

Credit-rating agencies, discredited by the collapse of the housing bubble in the United States when they had blithely endorsed all so-called “sub-prime lending”, are now crawling out of the woodwork, and the Indian establishment is predictably impressed by the sight. Moody’s have just upgraded India’s credit rating marginally and the BJP is beside itself with joy. Surprisingly, much of the media too have flashed the story of the upgrade as if India’s status being raised from Baa3 to Baa2 is a matter that calls for great jubilation. Now, the criteria used by finance capital for judging the performance of a…

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.)

Budget 2017 must Support those Worst Hit by Demonetisation Jayati Ghosh

How to mitigate and reverse the adverse impact of the demonetisation ought to be at the top of the Finance Minister’s agenda for the coming Budget. The effects of the ill-considered and even more poorly implemented scheme are still being felt across the country, in the form of reduced economic activity, job losses and reductions in income and consumption. Since remonetisation is still incomplete – and the government has already threatened not to replace the full value of the demonetised currency in a coercive push to digitisation – the impact on economic activity from that one source alone will continue…

Wage and Fiscal Policies for Economic Recovery Jomo Kwame Sundaram and Anis Chowdhury

The new US census data released in late September show that 3.5 million people in the US climbed out of poverty, as the tepid economic recovery continues. Employers are finally creating more jobs and paying higher wages than seven years after the Great Recession started following the 2008 financial crisis. This progress, while modest, debunks the claims of those who predicted a dire outcome following the increase in the legislated US minimum wage, especially without a robust recovery. The data show large employment and wage gains, particularly for the lower end of the jobs spectrum. Raising the legal minimum-wage and…

Care Work as the Work of the Future C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh

As technological change threatens many different kinds of jobs, the significance of direct face-to-face interaction required in much care work means that it is unlikely to be as adversely affected. What does this mean for the future requirements of care workers? Future_Care_Work (Download the full text in PDF format) (This article was originally published in the Business Line on August 15, 2016.)

Globalization and the World’s Working People Prabhat Patnaik

Globalization was advertised as being beneficial for all, as constituting a bold step towards universal economic betterment. This was clearly wrong; and it was not just Left economists, but even “mainstream” economists like Paul Samuelson who had said so at the very outset. The reason for their saying so was simple: if the economic regime of the world allowed free imports of Chinese or Indian goods into the U.S.A, then this must necessarily hurt the real wages of the American workers, because the American workers enjoying much higher wages would then be competing, to their own detriment, against the low-wage…

Technology and the Future of Work Jayati Ghosh

The latest fear factor to hit the world relates to the disappearance of jobs. Everywhere now the buzz is about how technology is going to transform work – and reduce it dramatically. The Davos World Economic Forum CEO Klaus Schwab (whose book The Fourth Industrial Revolution was released this week) is just the latest in a long line of recent predictors of this gloomy possibility. From 3-D printing to robots that will perform not just some basic services but even more skilled activities like those of accountancy and so on, the fear is that human labour will be increasingly displaced…

The Slogan of “Make in India” Prabhat Patnaik

At first sight the “Make in India” campaign appears innocuous, a pipe-dream perhaps but a rather harmless one. If the world’s big companies come to “make” things in India for selling all over the world, which is the thrust of the “Make in India” campaign of the Modi government, then what is wrong with it? As long as “Make in India” does not cause any domestic “deindustrialization” and hence unemployment, such as would ensue if these companies were producing for the Indian market (or even for the world market), at the expense of other, smaller, domestic producers who generate larger…

West Africa’s Financial Immune Deficiency Rick Rowden

In recent months, as the spreading Ebola emergency took center stage in Washington, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) have pledged $530 million to help Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. And in October, at a special session with African leaders on Ebola during the IMF/World Bank annual meetings in Washington DC, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said that in addition to the aid, the IMF would depart from its notorious budget austerity, and actually allow the hard-hit west African nations to increase their budget deficits: “We don’t normally say this!” she emphasized. To which the Guinean president, Alpha Conde, responded, “I'm extremely pleased…