The State of The Economy Prabhat Patnaik

Newspaper headlines over the last few days have highlighted three facts which point to the current abysmal state of the Indian economy. The first relates to inflation, where the June 2018 wholesale price index was 5.77 percent above that of June last year; this is the highest inflation rate witnessed since December 2013. The second is a burgeoning trade deficit: the trade deficit in June, at $ 16.6 billion, was again the highest for any month in the last five years. The third relates to the industrial stagnation that has set in: the growth in factory output in May (the…

Did This Straw Break the Finance Sector’s Back? T. Sabri Oncu

I will define the straw and start with quoting from my July 2017 H T Parekh Finance Column titled “Debts That  Cannot Be Paid Will Not Be” (Öncü 2017). With my June 2015 H T Parekh Finance Column article titled “When Will the Next Financial Crisis Start?” [Öncü 2015a] I initiated an investigation of the possibility of a new phase in the ongoing global financial crisis (GFC) that started in the summer of 2007. [This article was retitled on the Policy Research in Macroeconomics website as “What Straw Will Break the Finance Sector’s Back?” when it was republished three days…

Indian IT hits a Speed Dump 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.)

The Growing Income Inequality Prabhat Patnaik

Thomas Piketty and Lucas Chancel have just written a paper as part of their work for the World Inequality Report discussing the movement of income inequality in India. And their conclusion is that the extent of income inequality in India at present is greater than it has ever been at any time in the last one hundred years. Their estimates go back to 1922 when the Income Tax Act became operational in India. The share of the top 1 percent of the population in total income at that date was around 13 percent. It increased to 21 percent by the…

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…

The Economy: 70 years after Independence C. P. Chandrasekhar

The defining feature of the economic programme of independent India’s first government was to accelerate the transition to a modern economy dominated by industry. Agriculture and related activities at that time accounted for around half of GDP and modern industry in the form of factory establishments for just above 6 per cent. Thus, colonial rule had made India the victim of the barriers to productivity increase typical of predominantly agrarian economies. These circumstances influenced the Nehruvian vision that made rapid diversification in favour of manufacturing the principal economic objective. The ‘big planners’ of that time did recognize that this will…

After Neoliberalism, what Next? Jayati Ghosh

We may be living through one of those moments in history that future historians will look back on as a watershed, a period of flux that marked a transition to quite different economic and social arrangements. Unfortunately, in human history a ‘moment’ can be a very long time, so long that it could be decades before the final shape of the new arrangements are even evident; and in the interim, there could be many ‘dead cat bounces’ of the current system. What is clear is that the established order – broadly defined as neoliberal globalised finance capitalism – is no…

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)

The Post-1991 Growth Story C. P. Chandrasekhar

July 1991 is widely seen as a watershed month in Indian economic policy making. That was when the Indian government openly declared that it was unwinding the interventionist regime which had been in place since Independence, involving controls on economic agents, regulation of markets, a large public sector and an a priori plan as to how economic resources should be allocated. In the period to follow, policy, it was then argued, would dismantle this excessively interventionist framework, and establish and support a system driven by private initiative and relatively unfettered markets, with minimal regulation and control. The State was to…