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A Note on Estimating Income Inequality across countries using PPP Exchange Rates
01 February, 2018, Jayati Ghosh
The use of exchange rates based on Purchasing Power Parities to compare income across countries and over time has become standard practise. But there are reasons to believe this could lead to excessively inflated incomes for poor countries and in some cases also inflate the extent of real changes over time. Estimates of gross domestic product growth in Chinese and Indian economies in recent years provide examples of this.
Rising Incomes, Falling Wages
31 January, 2018, Jayati Ghosh
Changing the unequal economic tendencies brought out in the World Inequality Report 2018 requires changing the politics—not just making governments more accountable to the people, but making people realise that they are being fooled.
The Dramatic Rise in Wealth Inequality
25 January, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
Notwithstanding the statistical difficulties associated with the estimates of wealth distribution, there is no gainsaying the fact that something extremely serious for our democracy and freedom is occurring through the extraordinary rise in wealth inequality, as a result of the pursuit of unrestrained neo-liberal economic policies by the present government.
The Obscenity of Hunger Deaths
22 December, 2017, Jayati Ghosh
There is no doubt that human life is cheap in India, perhaps more so now than ever before. The attacks, atrocities and killings of people from minorities and marginalised groups that have now become so common are particularly appalling because they reflect a culture of impunity.
The Crisis in Agriculture
24 October, 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
The dilution of government intervention in the form of minimum support prices, procurement and public distribution is undermining the medium-term viability of agricultural production in India.
The Growing Income Inequality
05 October, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The conclusion drawn by Piketty and Chancel in their recent paper shows a greater income inequality in India than it has ever been in the past century. But what stands out is that the trend perfectly synchronizes with transition to neo-liberalism, a stage of capitalism wherein international finance has gained hegemony, and no longer remains a policy choice.
The Economy: 70 years after Independence
30 August, 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Indias' reliance on fortuitous and volatile stimuli to drive growth has resulted in inadequate job creation and widened inequalities while failing to address social deprivation.
The Macroeconomics of Basic Income Grants
07 July, 2017, Jayati Ghosh
The idea of “Universal Basic Income”, today treated as novel, in fact dates back to Kautilya’s Arthashastra and Thomas Mores’ Utopia in the 16th century. Milton Friedman's “negative income tax” also revolved around the same idea, which was rightfully criticized by Minsky for inducing inflationary expansion in place of direct welfare schemes. Considering distributional effects, direct job creation is a more effective way to tackle poverty.
The Rights of the Child and the G20 Summit
03 July, 2017, Sir Richard Jolly & Gabriele Kohler
Fresh research from UNICEF shows that the number of children in poverty, in rich countries has increased as a result of austerity policies. An average of one in five children in 41 high income countries lives in poverty. Children and their rights do not even seem to feature in the G20 manifesto, even as it stresses the ending of austerity policies and encouraging public budgets that promote development and poverty eradication.
Development for Whom?
22 June, 2017, Jayati Ghosh
Calls for a new development paradigm grow louder each day, especially in rapidly growing countries like India. Award-winning development economist Jayati Ghosh explores prospects for such a new model of equitable and sustainable development with Allen White, Senior Fellow at the Tellus Institute.
The Economy under Modi
20 June, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
As per official data, half of the country’s population witnessed no improvement in real per capita income over the three Modi years. Other indicators like the demand from net exports, Central Government expenditure (as a proportion of nominal GDP) and number of new jobs created in the organized sector, all reflect a gloomy picture of the Indian economy. The government has been keen on keeping finance capital happy while compromising on these matters.
What the data tells us about 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas'?
26 May, 2017, Anamitra Roychowdhury
Modi rose to power by promising development for all, but his policies have fallen short in meeting any of the related targets, especially with respect to employment and livelihoods. A minor increase in farm income was met by the lowest-yet wage increase under MGNREGA. Belying the promises of the Skill India programme, Quarterly Employment Surveys show even greater joblessness. Resource allocation to health and education has seen negligible growth in the past three years. And the government narrative has shifted from development to moral policing. Modi rose to power by promising development for all, but his policies have fallen short in meeting any of the related targets, especially with respect to employment and livelihoods. A minor increase in farm income was met by the lowest-yet wage increase under MGNREGA. Belying the promises of the Skill India programme, Quarterly Employment Surveys show even greater joblessness. Resource allocation to health and education has seen negligible growth in the past three years. And the government narrative has shifted from development to moral policing. * This article was originally published in the Wire on May 26, 2017.
A Simple Arithmetic
25 May, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The advance GDP estimates for 2016-17, however calculated,show a grim picture of the economy. The real per capita income of the agriculture-dependent population, which constitutes half the country's populace, has remained stagnant or even marginally declined during the three years of the Modi government. While the pursuit of neoliberal policies can be held responsible for this, treating the aggregate growth as a “great achievement” for political mileage is unwarranted.
Narendra Modi on Poverty
20 March, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
When Narendra Modi talks of shifting away from giving doles to the poor, what he has in mind is that the money being currently used for welfare schemes for the poor should be withdrawn from such schemes and handed over to the corporate magnates.
Before UBI, We must First Get Social Spending Basics Right
13 February, 2017, Anjana Thampi & Ishan Anand
Providing a UBI in place of existing schemes will not change the fundamentally unequal income distribution in the country. The way to resolve the crisis is a redistribution from the rich to the poor.
A Universal Basic Income in India?
03 February, 2017, Jayati Ghosh
The idea of basic income that is very much part of the idea of a universal social protection floor, cannot be seen as a substitute for public provision of basic goods and services; rather it must be an addition to it.
Budget 2017 must Support those Worst Hit by Demonetisation
31 January, 2017, Jayati Ghosh
To counter the contractionary forces unleashed by demonetisation, Budget 2017 should direct fiscal resources to informal activities that have seen the greatest decline and to poor people who have been hardest hit.
Spreading light: Are the Modi government’s electricity promises being fulfilled?
31 January, 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
The government's claim that it has ensured electricity for all does not seem to be warranted by the evidence.
Neo-Liberal Capitalism and India's Nationhood'
30 January, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The era of neo-liberalism has seen a retrogression when it comes to the material pre-requisites for the nation-building project that had been launched with the anti-colonial struggle.
The Widening Gap between Rich and Poor
23 January, 2017, Jayati Ghosh
Evidently the problem of inequality has intensified over the last decade or so, and this is largely because of worsening income and asset distribution in the era of globalisation.

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