The Indian Economy in a Tailspin
24 September, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
A combination of direct import controls on inessential items, reduction of petro-product prices, measures for reducing the consumption of such products, and direct taxation, especially on wealth, is the obvious way of getting out of the tailspin in which the Indian economy is currently caught. There is no alternative to these measures if we are to avoid the fate of countries that eventually run to the IMF and get caught in the vice-like grip of “austerity”.
Women's work in India
07 September, 2018, Jayati Ghosh
The decline in workforce participation by women in India reflects shift from paid to unpaid work. In the absence of basic amenities, a greater proportion of women are engaged in fetching water, collecting fuel for cooking. Once we take into account these unpaid and socially unrecognised activities done by women, it is found that workforce participation of women is greater than men.
The Question Of Farm - Loan Waiver
23 June, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The primary reason why loan-waiver is being demanded at present is not an output fall owing to any natural calamity. It is the price-fall on account of the bumper harvest that underlies this demand. It is the breaking down of an appropriate institutional mechanism that is responsible for the peasants distress and periodic demands for loan-waivers.
Finance Capital and the Nature of Capitalism in India Today
25 November, 2016, C.P. Chandrasekhar
This article explains how the growing dependence on foreign finance capital has distorted Indias growth. Due to the accumulated presence of foreign capital in the country since liberalisation, it is turning moribund and losing sovereignty.
Capitalism and the Oppressed Castes
29 April, 2016, Prabhat Patnaik
The development of capitalism in any society brings about a complete transformation in the way we look at all social questions including the question of caste oppression.
What can Corporate Planning Learn from National Planning
29 December, 2015, Pronab Sen
This paper examines the historical development of national planning in India and identifies the lessons that corporate planning can draw from the long and varied experience.
Economics and the Two Concepts of Nationalism
22 June, 2015, Prabhat Patnaik
It is important to differentiate the kind of nationalism that informed the anti-colonial struggle in India from the bourgeois nationalism that had emerged in Europe.
Power Tariff Hike in West Bengal
17 June, 2015, Prasenjit Bose
One of the necessary steps towards tackling the problem of power tariff hike in West Bengal is to break the monopoly of the CESC in Kolkata and adjoining areas.
Credit and Capital Formation in Agriculture: A Growing Disconnect
21 November, 2013, Pallavi Chavan
Capital formation in agriculture in recent past suffered due to overemphasis on short-term and indirect credit, but this may prove to be costly for future sectoral growth.
Tripura's Tryst with Literacy
24 October, 2013, Subhanil Chowdhury & Gorky Chakraborty
While all kinds of development model are debated furiously, the small state of Tripura is making rapid strides in improving literacy and other development indicators.
Reducing Inequality: Learning lessons for the post-2015 agenda India case study
26 August, 2013, ERF & Save the Children, UK
Economic Research Foundation (ERF) in association with Save the Children, UK undertook this study on the impact of inequality on children in India.
Science, Education and Research: Problems and prospects
19 June, 2013, Ramakrishna Ramaswamy
Referring to the suboptimal state of science, education and research today, the author asserts India has not learnt to develop the necessary "first-rate technology" at home.
What Census 2011 Reveals about Our Growers and Their Land
05 June, 2013, Rahul Goswami
The change in the number of cultivators and agricultural labourers provided by Census 2011 should help us recognise the growing impacts on food security caused by urbanisation.
Fragile Foundations: Foreign capital and growth after liberalisation
14 May, 2013, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The shift from debt-financed public expenditure to debt-financed private expenditure-led growth in India has resulted in increased dependence on foreign capital and vulnerability.
The Business of News in the Age of the Internet
07 May, 2013, C.P. Chandrasekhar
In the context of the digital revolution, the author discusses some possible implications of the impact of the internet on the print business and the directions they point to.
Capital Flows and External Vulnerability Examining the Recent Trends in India
29 April, 2013, Prasenjit Bose
The measures to attract additional debt inflows into the Indian economy to finance its widening current account deficit will only enhance its external vulnerability.
Economic Crises and Womens Work: Exploring progressive strategies in a rapidly changing environment
11 March, 2013, Jayati Ghosh
Analysis of womens employment and decent work in the context of the global economic crisis shows that gender sensitive policy responses are more likely to be successful.
Of False Premises, Faulty Reportage and Declining Hunger: Unraveling the enigma
30 January, 2013, M Kumaran & Biraj Swain
The official assessment about India making progress in addressing hunger, nutrition and poverty over last two decades, do not match the ground realities.
Emerging Dynamics of Global Production Networks and Labour Process: A study from India
12 September, 2012, Praveen Jha & Amit Chakraborty
With cheap labour and a strong supply base, Indias automobile sector has emerged successful in integrating itself into the global production networks. Using case studies from the National Capital Region, this paper seeks to study the nature of changes in the organisation of production and work in the automobile sector both intra-firm and inter-firm and their impact on the changing labour processes and issues of managerial control, skill or working conditions. The anatomy of the recent waves of labour unrest there has been studied to investigate its relation with changing labour processes, and to understand the new regime of accumulation from a political economy perspective in terms of the dynamic interaction of capitals strategy, technology and the agency of labour.
Gender, Property and Institutional Basis of Tax Policy Concessions: Investigating the Hindu Undivided Family
01 September, 2012, Chirashree Das Gupta
This discussion note is an attempt to situate the development of Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) as a legal tax entity recognised by tax law, separate and distinct from individuals and corporate entities. Over the years this tool has been used by the family-owned business groups for evading tax. In fact in the era of neoliberal globalisation, the laws of the land have been altered suitably to facilitate the transformation of family-owned business groups into multinationals without an increase in their total corporate liability.
Labour Market Regulations and Economic Outcomes: Some capital lessons and minor messages
08 August, 2012, Praveen Jha, Sakti Golder & Swayamsiddha Pandav
This paper provides a survey of the empirical evidence on the relationship between labour market institutions and economic outcomes. Survey of major cross-country empirical constructs that examine linkages between labour regulations and different aspects of economic performance such as employment, growth, etc., shows that the empirical basis for the advocacy of blanket labour market flexibility is rather weak. The paper also highlights some key empirical findings from the organised manufacturing sector in India and postulates some capital lessons and minor messages that emerge from such an exercise.
Report on the State of Food Insecurity in Urban India
28 February, 2012,
This report is an update of Food Insecurity Atlas of Urban India that was developed by the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) in October 2002 and a companion exercise to the Report on the State of Food Insecurity in Rural India of 2001. Reviewing the relative position of the major states with respect to food security, the Report reveals an alarming situation of a permanent food and nutrition emergency in urban India. Hence in order to promote food and nutrition security for all, the Report offers certain policy recommendations emphasizing that urban food security is impacted by the macroeconomic policies and therefore, economic reforms needs to be re-formed to provide inclusive urban development.
The Challenge of Ensuring Full Employment in the Twenty-first Century
12 October, 2011, Jayati Ghosh
The recent economic growth process in India and other parts of the developing world exhibits the inability of even high rates of output growth to generate sufficient opportunities for 'decent work' to meet the needs of the growing labour force. Therefore, there is a clear case for a shift towards wage-led and domestic demand-led growth, particularly in the economies that are large enough to sustain this shift.
India's New High Growth Trajectory: Implications for demand, technology and employment
12 October, 2011, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Evidence on trends in surplus generation and utilisation suggests that India's recent transition to a high-growth trajectory has been accompanied by and partly based on tendencies towards profit inflation and increased inequality. This paper offers an explanation as to why the net implications for employment and conditions of work of this growth trajectory have been adverse.
India's Role in the New Global Farmland Grab: An examination of the role of the Indian government and Indian companies engaged in overseas agricultural land acquisitions in developing countries
23 August, 2011, Rick Rowden
This report explores the role of Indian agricultural companies that have been involved in the recent trend in large-scale overseas acquisitions of farmland. In addition to examining the various factors driving the ''outsourcing'' of domestic food production, the report also explores the negative consequences of such a trend. It looks at why critics have called the trend ''land grabbing'' and reviews the impacts on local peoples on the ground, who are often displaced in the process.
Food Prices, Health and Nutrition: Red-flag indicators for the 12th Plan
17 August, 2011, Rahul Goswami
The long-term impacts of food inflation on the rural and urban poor are yielding worrying indicators in India's nutrition and health sectors. Analysing new data from the NSSO's 66th Round and recent trends in retail food prices, the author establishes that households in the lower deciles of consumption in both rural and urban areas have been hurt the most by the steep rise in the real retail prices of cereals during 2003 to 2009-10.
Industrialising Indias Food Flows: An analysis of the food waste argument
23 May, 2011, Rahul Goswami
From the mid-term appraisal of the Eleventh Five Year plan onwards, central government ministries have been telling us that post-harvest losses in India are high, particularly for fruits and vegetables.
Hunger: The true growth story in India
21 December, 2010,
Although many of the policies needed for ensuring genuine food security of the people of India are in place, they require more public resources and genuinely inclusive and empowering approach. The specter of hunger in India, the authors contend, will drive some of the more painful policy changes and the associated processes and can help the different policy areas cohere to ensure universal food and nutrition.
Shrinking Cereals, Growing Food Parks
04 May, 2010, Rahul Goswami
Although controlling food inflation and ensuring food security to the population are two major concerns of the government at present, data and reports of various studies show very little improvement on both fronts. On the contrary, the increasing corporatisation of food production, procurement, movement and distribution is contributing to household food insecurity, particularly amongst the rural and urban poor.
The Public and the Private
04 September, 2009, Prabhat Patnaik
The fact that the agrarian crisis or the current raging inflation in India has not evoked major spontaneous struggles is linked to the country's transition from a dirigiste to a neo-liberal economic regime.
Indian Labour Market Report 2008
11 May, 2009,
The paradoxical feature of a positive GDP growth rate along with unfavourable employment trends have been one of the most pressing contemporary concerns related to the opening up of the Indian economy. This first bi-annual report published by the Adecco-TISS Labour Market Research Initiatives seeks to provide a thorough analysis of the current situation of the Indian labour market in terms of its composition across different segments, sectors, regions and gender. It includes detailed analysis of unemployed and underemployed labour force and even those who are not in the labour force. The industry perspective on issues of employment is also captured through a primary survey of select industries in the manufacturing and emerging sectors.
The Impact of Macroeconomic Change on Employment in the Retail Sector in India: Policy Implications for Growth, Sectoral Change and Employment
15 May, 2008, Jayati Ghosh, Amitayu Sengupta & Anamitra Roychoudhury
This study is concerned with the employment situation in India's retail sector. High economic growth in India has not produced satisfactory outcomes of job growth, both in terms of quantity and quality. Concern has arisen that many of the working poor engaged in small-scale retailing and street vending are crowded by entries of large-scale domestic as well as foreign retailers. Share of workers' income in manufacturing has also seen a decline, despite labour productivity growth, during the last decade. This paper argues that economic policy in India needs to be made more inclusive and equitable. The only sure way of doing so would be making it more pro-job and pro-poor, through examining employment implications of macro policies that accompany economic liberalization.
Farmers' Suicides in India: Magnitudes, Trends and Spatial Patterns
03 May, 2008, K. Nagaraj
Given the very large number of suicides by farmers in various parts of India over the last decade, there is a need to probe the issue by utilizing a data source which would provide a comprehensive, nation-wide picture. This paper is a modest attempt to fill that gap. Its basic objective is to put together, and carry out a preliminary analysis on, the secondary data that are available on farmers' suicides in the country. The paper studies, first, the magnitude and trends in farmers' suicides in India over 1997-2006; and second, the regional patterns, if any, in the incidence and trends in these suicides.
Private Equity: A New Role for Finance?
22 May, 2007, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Given that a substantial proportion of companies in Asian developing countries are either unlisted or have a small proportion of free-floating shares, the surge in investments by private equity firms suggests that foreign acquisitions could increase in the region sharply. With foreign investors controlling a rising share of total assets, the ability of domestic forces and the domestic State to influence the pattern and pace of growth of domestic economic activity would be substantially eroded.
Indian Economy in the Era of Contemporary Globalisation: Some Core Elements of the Balance Sheet
17 May, 2007, Praveen Jha & Mario Negre
In recent years, the 'official' India has been patting itself on account of accelerated economic growth rates and the presumed progress in poverty reduction. However, as this paper argues, the recent economic growth has been extremely lopsided; more than ever before. Further, large sections of the country's population continue to suffer, very acutely, with reference to a whole range of development deficits. This paper is an attempt to sketch a snapshot of India's economic growth performance, along with some of the major development deficits it is facing.
The Progress of "Reform" and the Retrogression of Agriculture
25 April, 2007, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The consequence of recent structural shifts is that the Indian economy can record the observed creditable rates of non-inflationary growth of aggregate GDP even when its agricultural sector languishes. It appears that a feature of the growth process in a more open and liberalised environment is that the peasantry has a much smaller a role in sustaining economic growth and can thus be partially excluded from development. What is disconcerting is that the self-correcting mechanism that existed in the earlier period to restore a semblance of balance between agricultural and non-agricultural growth are no more operative.
A Model of Growth of the Contemporary Indian Economy
10 April, 2007, Prabhat Patnaik
This paper provides a simple model of the current pattern of India's economic growth process, to reckon with the fact that even an accelerating growth rate may leave the unemployment problem completely unresolved, or even accentuated, as labour productivity rises at a faster rate than investment. An obvious conclusion that emerges is that the widely-held perception that higher and higher growth rates would eventually eradicate unemployment in the country, is untenable.
Recent Employment Trends in India and China:An Unfortunate Convergence?
05 April, 2007, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
This paper argues that both China and India, despite the similarity of the current international hype about their future economic prospects and also despite their obvious differences, face rather similar economic problems at present with respect to the labour market. In both countries, the strategy of development is delivering relatively high growth without commensurate increases in employment, especially in the organised sector; and the bulk of new employment is in lower productivity activities under uncertain and often oppressive conditions. It is argued that this paradox may be a common result of the similar strategy of economic expansion currently being followed in both countries.
Some Aspects of the Well-Being of India's Agricultural Labour in the Context of Contemporary Agrarian Crisis
22 February, 2007, Praveen Jha
This paper explores why the official poverty estimates show low levels as well as decline in poverty in India over the 1990s, whereas all other economic and social indicators suggest that absolute poverty is high. The former do not capture the true picture because the official method involves the 'fallacy of equivocation'. It is also argued that when actual rural poverty is as high as nearly four-fifths of the population and poverty depth is increasing with a higher proportion of people being pushed down into lower nutritional status, there is an urgent need to revert to a demand-driven universal public distribution system.
Poverty and Neo-liberalism in India
06 January, 2007, Utsa Patnaik
This paper explores why the official poverty estimates show low levels as well as decline in poverty in India over the 1990s, whereas all other economic and social indicators suggest that absolute poverty is high.
Government Health Expenditure in India: A Benchmark Study
30 October, 2006, Economic Research Foundation
In spite of large positive externalities associated with health spending, in India it is until now largely privately financed. The relatively low spending by the government, a trend aggravated during the liberalisation era,
Social Inequality, Labour Market Dynamics and the Need for Expanding Reservation - Some Issues for Consideration
05 September, 2006, Mritiunjoy Mohanty
This paper brings two new elements to the debate around expanding reservation in centres of excellence in higher education. First, it establishes that Upper Caste Hindus are significantly better off in education, employment and relative incomes than ST, SC or OBC populations. Second, it links this privileged positioning of Upper Castes Hindus with changing labour market dynamics in the 1990s and shows how Upper Caste Hindus dominate the best jobs in the Urban economy.
The Need to Protect Petty Production
17 July, 2006, Prabhat Patnaik
This paper argues that in a situation where unemployment is generated through the disappearance of small-scale production, the ''efficiency'' argument in favour of their closure does not stand, even if small-scale units are more inefficient at the micro-level.
IT- Driven Offshoring: The Exaggerated "Development Opportunity"
27 January, 2006, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
This paper considers the recent boom in IT-driven offshoring in India and examines the potential for this to become a major source of economic growth in the future.
The Myth of a Global Savings Glut
30 September, 2005, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
There is substantial agreement that international imbalances in growth and balance of payments performance are a source of global fragility.
Developing Countries and the Dollar
30 September, 2005, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
In this article, the authors consider the nature of developing country capital flows and analyse why investing in US dollar assets has become such a favoured use for financial resources that could be used instead to increase economic growth in the developing world.
The Economics of the New Phase of Imperialism
26 August, 2005, Prabhat Patnaik
This paper argues that even though "accumulation through encroachment" in the inclusive sense of the term is always an integral part of the process of capital accumulation, so that the pure reign of "accumulation through expansion" is rare and at best transitory, a crucial feature of contemporary imperialism is a vast increase in the relative importance of "accumulation through encroachment".
NSS Employment Surveys: Problems with Comparisons over Time
06 October, 2004, Amit Thorat
The National Sample Survey organisation is the nation's premier data collection and distribution agency. The agency has since independence,
Budget 2004-05 : Farmers are the new untouchables
12 July, 2004, Devinder Sharma
For the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, and now the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance, farmers have become the new untouchables. If the two Budgets presented in 2004 are any indication first the interim Budget by the outgoing Finance Minister Mr. Jaswant Singh, and then the Budget 2004-05 presented by his successor Mr. P. Chidambaram agriculture has become a burden on an ungrateful nation.
Food security concerns in India as Buffer Stocks Plummet
29 December, 2003, Sabyasachi Mitra
Unless irrigation facilities are spread to all states in India agricultural output in the country will remain hostage to the whims of the monsoon, and food security of the country can never be ensured.
On the Economics of "Open Economy" De-Industrialization
25 November, 2003, Prabhat Patnaik
This is the text of the V.V.Giri Memorial Lecture to be delivered by Prof. Prabhat Patnaik at the Annual Conference of the Indian Society of Labour Economics in Kolkata in December 2003.
Address at the Convocation of Kalyani University
10 November, 2003, Prabhat Patnaik
Your Excellency the Chancellor of the University, Mr Vice-Chancellor, Assembled Guests, Members of the Faculty, Young Scholars, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Issues in School Education in Contemporary Kerala
07 July, 2003, C.P. Chandrasekhar, V. K. Ramachandran & R. Ramakumar
This paper deals with major issues in school education in Kerala in the 1990s, in particular, with issues of state investment in schooling, the retention of students in the school system, and movements to bring about change in the quality of school education in the 1990s and to the present day.
Medical Knowledge as a Global Public Goods for Health
01 February, 2003, Jayati Ghosh
A Global Public Goods for Health (GPGH) perspective is useful and important in the case of medical knowledge. The public good characteristics of knowledge mean that investment in knowledge cannot be left to the market or private agents alone because it would then be below socially desired levels and the direction also need not be socially optimal.
The Diffusion of Information Technology and the Implications for Global Development: A Perspective Based on the Indian Experience
01 February, 2003, C.P. Chandrasekhar
This paper examines Indias experience with the growth of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector and discusses various policy implications for realisation of the potential of this sector. The author argues that unless the State plays a more important role, it will be difficult to meet the challenge that the IT revolution sets for a developing country like India.
On The Need for Regulating Technological Change
01 February, 2003, Prabhat Patnaik
Spontaneity in the matter of technological change, which is closely linked with the ceaseless creation of new wants, militates against the realization of another basic feature of a humane society, namely the elimination of involuntary unemployment.
Market, Morals and the Media
25 July, 2002, Prabhat Patnaik
The power of the media as an institution has gone down greatly in India in the 1990s. To use 'moral capital' to acquire a more powerful role in society the media needs to display humaneness and concern for democracy in looking at the impact of issues like liberalisation' and 'globalisation'.
On Fiscal Deficits and Real Interest Rates
19 April, 2001, Prabhat Patnaik
The theoretical perception underlying the strategy of the 2001-2 budget can be summed up as follows: the recession that currently afflicts the economy is a result inter alia of the high real rate of interest that prevails, which in turn is caused by the high level of the fiscal deficit. Controlling the fiscal deficit therefore holds the key to economic revival, and this is what the budget sets out to do.
Imperialism and the Diffusion of Development Text of the Ansari Memorial Lecture
15 March, 2001, Prabhat Patnaik
I am acutely conscious of the great honour that has been bestowed on me in asking me to deliver the Ansari Memorial Lecture this year at the Jamia Millia Islamia. It is an honour as much because of the person being commemorated as because of the list of distinguished speakers who have preceded me in commemorating him. Dr.Ansari was a remarkable figure of the National Movement, whose qualities of head and heart have been brought to light recently through the labours of Professor Mushirul Hasan of this university. These lectures instituted in his memory have, through the care of the organisers, been able to draw some of the finest minds and have deserevedly become an important event in the academic calendar of Delhi. I recall attending one Ansari Memorial lecture, delivered by Professor Irfan Habib and presided over by Professor Nurul Hasan, which was a source of great pleasure and profit for me.
Consumer Expenditure, Distribution & Poverty : Implications of the NSS 5th round
30 January, 2001, Abhijit Sen
Experiments, though necessary and inevitable, with reference periods (the foremost being the lack of independence between them) have rendered the results from the 55th round of NSS survey on poverty incomparable with previous ones. However, this does not undermine the importance of NSS as a crucial and the most important source of data on the Indian Economy.
On Some Common Macroeconomic Fallacies
20 April, 2000, Prabhat Patnaik
The interest rate is the return on a particular asset, namely a debt instrument. It must be determined therefore as part of a stock equilibrium. The fiscal deficit is a flow concept. To say that the interest rate is determined by the size of the fiscal deficit is tantamount to saying that the price of a stock is determined by a flow, which is plain illogical.
The Humbug of Finance
05 April, 2000, Prabhat Patnaik
I have chosen as the title of my lecture a phrase used by Professor Joan Robinson, who, in her book Economic Philosophy, talks of "the humbug of finance which Keynes had destroyed".[1] What she means by the phrase "the humbug of finance" is the view held by British finance capital, based in the City of London, in the late twenties, and propagated by the British Treasury (because of which this view came to be known as the "Treasury View") that in all circumstances the government's balancing its expenditure with its income, i.e. not resorting to any fiscal deficit, is the most desirable policy for an economy
The Cost of Free Trade : The WTO Regime and The Indian Economy
20 February, 2000, Utsa Patnaik
It is indeed a privilege to have been asked to deliver the E M S Namboodiripad memorial lecture and I thank the organisers for it. Two years ago, after EMS (as he was referred to affectionately by everybody) passed away in March 1998, there was a memorial seminar held in June at Perintalamana in Malabar, the town which is within a short distance of EMS's ancestral home. I read a paper on this occasion, which was specifically on EMSs writings on the agrarian question - in particular how his famous Minute of Dissent to Commission Malabar Tenancy Reforms, was informed by the Marxist theory of ground rent.

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