Downturn Blues C. P. Chandrasekhar

September did not begin well for the Narendra Modi government. As it prepared for a makeover in the form of a cabinet reshuffle with elections 2019 in sight, news came that India’s GDP growth had slowed significantly to 5.7 per cent during the quarter April-June. This deceleration comes in the wake of a fall in growth rates from close to 8 per cent a year earlier to 6.1 per cent during January to March this year. As is to be expected the government has chosen to attribute this trend to short term shocks, which will not dislodge the economy from…

Growth in the Time of a Credit Squeeze C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh

GDP growth figures for the last few years have camouflaged a deceleration in credit growth that has affected all but the retail loans segment quite adversely. Credit_Squeeze (Download the full text in PDF format) (This article was originally published in the Business Line on July 31, 2017.)

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…

The GDP Elephant Jayati Ghosh

National income is hard to estimate in India where so much activity and employment is in the informal sector. Much of GDP calculation is not purely “technocratic” but relies on judgments and assumptions. As long as our system of national accounting does not clarify the real impact on the economy and the actual degree of deceleration of economic activity, we will remain in the dark. GDP_Elephant (Download the full text in PDF format) (This article was originally published in Quatrz India: June 5, 2017)

Beyond GDP: Measuring our progress Charles Seaford, Sorcha Mahoney, Mathis Wackernagel, Joy Larson and Rene Ramirez Gallegos

It is now widely accepted that one must move beyond viewing GDP as the critical measure of a nation’s progress and recognise it for what it is – a measure of economic exchange, which is itself a means to an end; the ‘end’ being the achievement of ‘sustainable well-being’.  In this paper, the authors focus on ways of measuring environmental sustainability and well-being, as well as offering a view from the global South which entails measures of both of these. Beyond_GDP  (Download the full text in PDF format) (This paper was originally published in ''The Global Transition 2012: Earth Summit…

Tottering on the Brink Jayati Ghosh

What is it with women and high heeled shoes? Such shoes are known to be uncomfortable, unhealthy and even dangerous for those wearing them. Not only do they force the wearer's feet and body into unnatural positions, they are hard to stand or walk around in for any extended time, and prolonged use can lead to damage of internal reproductive organs. Despite what appear to be these rather obvious drawbacks, they still dominate in high-fashion female footwear – to the point where the higher the heels, the more expensive and fashionable the shoes are likely to be. They remain popular…

NAFTA and the Mexican Economy: A look back on a ten-year relationship Juan Carlos Moreno-Brid, Pablo Ruiz Napoles and Juan Carlos Rivas Valdivia

In a critical review of the impact of NAFTA on the Mexican economy, the authors argue that NAFTA has resulted in a reduction of Mexico’s potential long-term economic growth and a widening gulf between the “haves” and the “have-nots.” nafta_mexican_economy (Download the full text in PDF format)

US Economic Recovery and the Unemployment Drag Sukanya Bose

The recent recession in the US economy has produced one of the longest lasting declines in employment growth.  The paper examines why the substantial increases in government military spending have been insufficient in stimulating a revival of employment. The reasons for the low responsiveness of private business spending and hence employment are then explored. US_Economic_Recovery (Download the full text in PDF format)

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