• Capitalism

    Not with a bang but with a (prolonged) Whimper

    It is probably obvious to everyone that global capitalism is in dire straits, notwithstanding the brave talking up of output recovery that now characterises almost every meeting of the international governing elite. Even so, discussions of the end of capitalism still typically seem overstated and futile, not least because those hoping and mobilising for bringing in an alternative system are everywhere so scattered, weak and demoralised

  • The face of Karl Marx

    150 years of Das Kapital: How relevant is Marx today?

    This is a book that has been pronounced dead or obsolete many times, but it keeps bouncing back, with the latest recovery in interest and sales just after the Global Financial Crisis of 2008. So why do so many people all over the world still read (or try to read) Karl Marx’s Capital today?

  • Illustration: Andrzej Krauze

    After neoliberalism, what next?

    We may be living through one of those moments in history that future historians will look back on as a watershed, a period of flux that marked a transition to quite different economic and social arrangements. Unfortunately, in human history a ‘moment’ can be a very long time.

  • The Emerging Left in the “Emerging” World

    Ralph Miliband Lecture on the Future of the Left, London School of Economics, London, U.K., 28 May 2012 It is a great honour and privilege for me to be invited to deliver this lecture in the Ralph Miliband series on the future of the Left.  Ralph Miliband was not just an outstanding social scientist and […]

  • The Dragon’s Shadow: China’s Banking System

    On October 10, the Chinese government announced that it will increase its stakes in the four largest commercial banks, which are already largely public-owned.  The move is designed to “support the healthy operations and development of key state-owned financial institutions and stabilise the share prices of state-owned commercial banks”. But why was this move considered […]

  • 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 […]

  • Global Oil Prices

    There was a time when global oil prices reflected changes in the real demand and supply of crude petroleum.  Of course, as with many other primary commodities, the changes in the market could be volatile, and so prices also fluctuated, sometimes sharply.  More than anything else, the global oil market was seen to reflect not […]

  • Public Spending on Education in India

    The failure of the Indian state more than six decades after Independence to provide universal access to quality schooling and to ensure equal access to higher education among all socio-economic groups and across gender and region must surely rank among the more dismal and significant failures of the development project in the country.  It is […]

  • Michal Kalecki and the Economics of Development

    In the long and impressive catalogue of Michal Kalecki’s contributions to economics, the proportion of writings devoted to what is now called “development economics” is relatively small.  And most of his work in this area is concise to the point of being terse, in short articles that simply state some crucial principles, typically without much […]

  • India: The Growth-Discrimination Nexus

    Many people, especially in India, tend to believe that the process of economic growth is likely to be mostly liberating for those oppressed by various forms of social discrimination and exclusion.  The argument is that market forces break open age-old social norms, especially those of caste and gender, that have for so long denied opportunities […]

  • Socialist and/or Feminist?

    This year, 8 March marked a century of the celebration of International Women’s Day.  But aside from a few publications and websites of women’s movements, this event went largely unremarked in the mainstream press, and also in the public consciousness. The idea of International Women’s Day was born in the socialist movement in the first […]

  • The Cash Option

    When I was growing up, several decades ago, middle-class society in India was always a little delayed in catching on to Western fashions whether in music or dress or in other aspects.  The past decades of globalisation seemed to have changed all that.  Modern communications technology has ensured that at least the upper income deciles […]

  • Frenzy in Food Markets

    So now we are back in another phase of sharply rising global food prices, which is wreaking further devastation on populations in developing countries that have already been ravaged for several years of rising prices and falling employment chances.  The food price index of the FAO in December 2010 surpassed its previous peak of June […]

  • 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 […]

  • The Strange Story of the Single Market

    For the past few months global attention, especially in the international financial media, has been focussed on the eurozone.  The reasons are obvious.  The group of countries that make up the European Union together constitute the largest economy in the world.  Instability within it — which now seems inevitable, no matter how the current problems […]

  • Where’s the Growth Supposed to Come From?

    Have governments everywhere simply lost their marbles?  Not much emerged from the Seoul G-20 Summit — and definitely not anything really desirable in the form of coordinated Global Keynesian policies (of the kind that Matías Vernengo has advocated in the TripleCrisis blog).  But then, quite frankly, not much was really expected to come out, given […]

  • What Does Wage-led Growth Mean in Developing Countries with Large Informal Employment?

    The past decade has been one in which export-led economic strategies have come to be seen as the most successful, driven by the apparent success of two countries in particular — China and Germany.  In fact, the export-driven model of growth has much wider prevalence as it was adopted by almost all developing countries. This […]

  • Invisible Indians in Incredible India

    There’s no doubt about it, this is incredible India all right.  Where else in the world would you get Judges of a High Court treating a deity as litigant in a legal case?  And then, because the said deity, otherwise referred to as Ram Lalla in the judgement, is to be treated as a minor […]

  • Going Green Gets Dirty

    Periods of economic recession are known to foster protectionist tendencies.  This has been especially marked after the global crisis, when trade openness has become a useful battering ram in the developed world, skillfully used by policy makers and employers to pass the buck on to the threat posed by foreign producers.  The significantly increased threat […]

  • 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 […]