Challenging Theoretical Hegemonies Arindam Banerjee

The Handbook of Alternative Theories of Economic Development ed. by Erik Reinert, Jayati Ghosh and Rainer Kattel, Edward Elgar Publishing, UK, 2018, pages: 812 plus xxxvi is a refreshing initiative of creating an engagement with alternative ideas of development that challenges the four-decade long dominant paradigms of mainstream economic theory and development policies. The discipline of economics, and more so development economics, has witnessed a considerable flattening in terms of ideas and imagination during the period of finance-capital driven globalization. The triple crisis of finance, food and fuel that hit the global economy earlier in this century has remarkably exposed…

Challenging Theoretical Hegemonies Arindam Banerjee

Global Instability and the Development Project: Is the Twenty-First Century different? Jayati Ghosh

GLOBAL CAPITALISM TODAY: UNSTABLE, MORIBUND, OR JUST RESTING? Ever since the global financial crisis of 2008–2009, the trajectory of the world economy has been hesitant, unstable and prone to many risks. Output recovery has been limited and fragile; and, more significantly, even in the more dynamic economies, it has not increased good-quality employment or reduced inequality and material insecurity. Global capitalism as an economic regime is increasingly unable to deliver on its own promise of continuous expansion within a largely stable society. Even so, discussions of the ‘end’ of capitalism still typically seem overstated and futile, not least because those…

The True Face of the Global Recovery C. P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh

The global economy, the soothsayers would have it, is riding the back of a recovery. Growth is seen as having consolidated in the US, picked up remarkably in Europe, and returned, after a minor blip, in China and India. Encouraged by these signs, the IMF in January estimated global growth in 2017 at 3.7 per cent, which was marginally above previous projections, and forecast growth at 3.8 per cent in 2018 and 2019. A key driver here is the effect that the Trump administration’s tax cuts and promise of increases in infrastructure spending are expected to have on demand and…

Ideological Struggles in Contemporary Capitalism Prabhat Patnaik

Globalization has brought acute distress to the working people all over the world. This distress is not confined only to the period of the post-housing-bubble crisis; nor is it confined only to the workers of the advanced capitalist countries. Joseph Stiglitz’s finding that the average real wage of a male American worker in 2011 was somewhat lower than in 1968 clearly suggests that this distress has had a long duration. Likewise the presumption that the distress afflicts only the advanced country workers whose job opportunities have shrunk because metropolitan capital has been relocating economic activity to low-wage third world countries,…

The End of Globalization? Prabhat Patnaik

Donald Trump’s recipe for reviving employment in the U.S. economy is to impose restrictions on imports from other countries. If at the same time he had taken steps to increase the level of aggregate demand in the U.S. in other ways, such as through increasing State expenditure financed by a fiscal deficit, then restricting imports from other countries would not lead to a reduction in the magnitude of such imports in absolute terms. It would not, in such a case, cause any unemployment in other countries for the sake of boosting employment in the U.S. Put differently, it would not…

Age of Uncertainty C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh

With the US Federal Reserve deciding to exit the era of low interest rates even when growth in the rest of the world economy falters or remains sluggish, economic uncertainty intensifies. Age_Uncertainty (Download the full text in PDF format) (This article was originally published in the Business Line on December 19, 2016)

Globalization and the Impasse of Capitalism Prabhat Patnaik

I feel greatly honoured that I have been asked to deliver the Harold Wolpe memorial lecture for the year 2016. Harold Wolpe was an outstanding thinker who combined political activism for the liberation of the South African people with deep insights into the economic basis of apartheid. I am indeed grateful for this opportunity to pay my tribute to this remarkable person who in my view constitutes a role model for anyone aspiring to be a social scientist. Since a good deal of Harold Wolpe’s theoretical work was concerned with the value of labour power, and hence by implication with…

The Global “New Normal” Is Not New – But it is still a real concern C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh

Many different explanations have been proffered for the “new normal” of “secular stagnation” in the global economy ever since the Great Recession. This is supposed to be exemplified by low growth, verging on stagnation, in the advanced economies, now combined with slower growth in the developing world. Certainly the recovery from the Great Recession of 2008-09 has been anaemic at best, even as it has failed to generate much employment outside of the US (and even there it has created mostly casual, part-time and poor quality jobs). Deflation has persisted in Japan for many years now, and has become evident…

The Global “New Normal” is Not New- But it is still a real concern C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh

lobal growth rates of the last five years are similar to those in the past, but now they are accompanied by unprecedented monetary expansion that seems to have little impact. Global_New_Normal   (Download the full text in PDF format) ( This article was originally published in the Business Line on June 20, 2016.)

No Clue to the Future C.P. Chandrasekhar

Meeting in mid-April on the side lines of the spring sessions of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund at Washington D.C., Finance Ministers of the G20 countries seemed overcome by a combined sense of despair and fear about the state of the world economy. The Communiqué issued after the meeting describes that state thus: “Growth remains modest and uneven, and downside risks and uncertainties to the global outlook persist against the backdrop of continued financial volatility, challenges faced by commodity exporters and low inflation.” When translated that seems to say the recovery is yet to occur and the…