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…

Capital and Public Expenditure Prabhat Patnaik

There is a paradox at the heart of political economy, which can be seen as follows. Suppose a capitalist economy is saddled with substantial unemployment and unutilized productive capacity, as is the case now over the entire capitalist world. Suppose in this situation the State increases its expenditure by enlarging its fiscal deficit, i.e. it spends, let us say, Rs.100 more without any increase in its tax revenue. And let us assume for simplicity that the capitalist economy is a closed, isolated one. Then the Rs.100 of expenditure will directly and indirectly, i.e. via the various rounds of further expenditure…

The Chávez Administration at 10 Years: The economy and social indicators Mark Weisbrot, Rebecca Ray and Luis Sandoval

This paper looks at some of the most important economic and social indicators during the 10 years of the Chávez administration in Venezuela. Looking at the current situation and challenges, the authors argue that the size, speed, and efficacy of a fiscal stimulus would be the main determinant of Venezuelan growth in 2009 and probably 2010 as well. cepr (Download the full text in PDF format) (This article was originally published at cepr.net.)

From Liberalization to Investment and Jobs: Lost in tsssranslation Yilmaz Akyüz

This paper discusses the experience of late industrializers in harnessing profits through industrial-cum-investment policies for faster accumulation. It is found that the performance of a large number of developing countries which have adopted a strategy of reigniting a dynamic process of capital accumulation and growth through a combination of rapid liberalization, increased reliance on foreign capital and reduced public investment and policy intervention is highly disappointing. The paper also examines the impact of macroeconomic and financial policies on accumulation, employment and growth, and concludes with a discussion of policy priorities. lost_translation (Download the full text in PDF format)

Pleasure and Pain in Pakistan Jayati Ghosh

According to the international financial press, Pakistanis have much to smile about today, despite their cricket team's loss of the series against India. Certainly, according to the conventional economic indicators, there is source for some pleasure. Economic growth is up, after a dismal period of more than a decade, especially in the commodity-producing sector. Exports have increased substantially in the past year and the current account shows ever-growing surpluses. The exchange rate has largely remained within a narrow range, unlike the volatility of just a few years ago. Capital inflows are up, and the relatively small stock market has zoomed.…

Growth Rates under the NDA Government Jayati Ghosh and C.P. Chandrasekhar

The rate and pattern of economic growth under the NDA government had become a controversial issue after the ruling coalition decided to make its supposed delivery of “high growth” a campaign issue in the recently held elections. In this article, Jayati Ghosh and C.P. Chandrasekhar investigate the actual evidence on growth of GDP and the major sectors of the economy. Growth_Rates_NDA_Govt  (Download the full text in PDF format)

Neoliberalism, Investment and Growth in Latin America Jayati Ghosh and C.P. Chandrasekhar

The recent experience of most economies in Latin America contradicts the argument that neoliberal market-oriented policies are necessary for increasing investment and growth, even if they may have harmful effects on distribution and social sectors. This calls for a serious reconsideration of the idea that such policies are necessary for higher investment and more economic growth. Neoliberalism (Download the full text in PDF format)

California’s Energy Debacle Continues Andrea Cappannari

Despite the fact that California was spared the many days of rolling blackouts that experts predicted would hit the state during the summer of 2001, the region's energy supply has failed to stabilize. As the new year begins, the energy crisis in California has simply taken on a new form: a vast oversupply, the cost of which is being disproportionately borne by working people. According to a report issued in November by the state's Department of Water Resources (DWR), California will have a gross surplus of energy for the next nine years. The reason for this lies with the costly…

The Continuing Railtrack Saga: How the british people have paid for privatisation, as consumers and now as taxpayers

The declaration to privatise the railway system in Britain was one of the more spectacular – and symbolic – statements of Margaret Thatcher's government. It was seen as a confirmation of the belief that many public utilities and infrastructure services, which were earlier thought to be “natural monopolies,” could in fact be privatised, and subjected to competition through market forces. Of course, this was only one of the many privatisations that occurred in the period between 1979 and 1997. State assets were sold for a total of 65 billion pounds, and more than 1 million workers were transferred from public…

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