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Author Archive | C.P. Chandrasekhar

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India: The Latest Employment Trends from the NSSO

No sooner were the results of the 66th Round of the National Sample Survey Organisation (relating to data collected in 2009-10) released, than they became the subject of great controversy.  Surprisingly, the controversy was created not by critics of the government and its statistical system, but from within government circles! Some highly placed officials found […]

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Foreign Banks or Foreign Capital?

One less emphasised lesson from the global financial crisis was that developing countries that are successful in attracting foreign financial investors take a hit when such a crisis occurs because of a reverse flow of capital.  Foreign financial firms needing to cover losses or meet commitments at home withdraw their capital, generating a credit crunch […]

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Trading Growth for Inflation

Earlier this month all eyes were on Reserve Bank Governor Duvvuri Subbarao.  Every statement of his was read as signalling whether he would raise interest rates and by how much he would do so this time.  With the economy having bounced back and GDP growth approaching previous peaks, the presumption was that the focus of […]

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Public Works and Wages in Rural India

The “small round” surveys of the NSSO are usually not considered to be so good at capturing trends, because their smaller size makes them non-comparable with the quinquennial large surveys.  However, the 64th Round was a much larger survey than normal (with a sample of 1,25,578 households: 79,091 in rural areas and 46,487 in urban […]

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India: Growth for Whom?

The year 2010 would be remembered as a scam-tainted year when allegations of corruption, both public and private, were difficult to keep track of.  Overwhelmed by these allegations, the government has attempted to focus on the fact that India is among the fastest growing countries in the world.  But even that boastful claim has been […]

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US Trade Imbalance and Total Trade Growth Rate with Including and Excluding FAS (Foreign Affiliate Sales)

Playing the Currency Blame Game

The slanging match over currency and monetary policies at the annual Fund-Bank meetings, held over the second weekend of October, points to the disarray in global economic governance.  While the US sought to mobilise IMF support for an effort to realign exchange rates and ensure an appreciation of the renminbi in the wake of China’s […]

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The New Mercantilists

For several centuries — between the 15th and the early 19th centuries — mercantilist theories dominated the attitude to trade in Europe.  This was the belief that an economy that had positive net exports (through exports being greater than imports) would be wealthier because it would lead to an inflow of bullion, or assets, and […]

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Indian IT: Privileged, Protected and Pampered

India’s IT industry does protest too much.  Its latest peeve is that the US has decided to steeply hike, from $2300 to about $4300, the cost of a H-1B visa required for entry into the US of temporary skilled workers from abroad.  The new Border Security Bill passed by the US Senate and signed into […]

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Coping with Global Crises: A Tale of Two Countries

Even before the turmoil caused by the global financial crisis has been adequately dealt with in terms of the adverse effects on employment and living conditions, governments across the world are being told that fiscal consolidation is the most important macroeconomic policy to be addressed.  The calamities resulting from sovereign debt crises are widely advertised […]

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G20: Where No Side Wins

There is only one message that comes out of Toronto, where the G20 summit has come to an end.  The formation, ostensibly created to reflect changing power equations in the world economy, serves no purpose.  It has turned out to be one more talking shop in which agreement to disagree is presented as a consensus. […]

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Chart 1: Share in Deficits of 108 Deficit Countries in 2007 (%)

Revisiting Global Imbalances

Until recently, the discussion on global imbalances focused on the current account deficit of the US and the current account surplus of China, making this a bilateral rather than a multilateral problem.  As a result, the process of rebalancing was seen as involving adjustments in either or both of these countries, and not so much […]

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The Spectre of Public Debt

Pegging their arguments on the still ongoing drama relating to sovereign debt in Greece, conservative opinion is making a case for a reduction of the size of public debt in developed and developing countries across the world.  The latest signatory to the appeal is IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn who reportedly told an audience at the […]

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Thailand: Economic Background to Political Crisis

The ongoing political crisis in Thailand has been capturing headlines for some time now, and now even appears to be heading towards some kind of climax.  This political instability reflects more than the resistance of the existing establishment to the increasingly vociferous demands of those who have been marginalised from most of the benefits.  It […]

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The Crisis and Employment in Asia

Ever since the global financial and economic crisis broke, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has been regularly tracking its impact on the level and quality of employment.  In January 2009, the ILO (International Labour Office 2009) indicated that, under alternate scenarios, global unemployment could increase by between 18 million and 51 million people worldwide from […]

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Are We Heading for Another Global Primary Commodity Price Surge?

Well before the financial crisis broke out so violently in the US and caused ripple effects all over the world, most people in developing countries were already reeling under the effects of dramatic volatility in global food and fuel markets.  In 2007 and 2008 prices of most primary commodities first increased very rapidly, to a […]

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