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@Project Syndicate: The Open Economies and Its Enemies & The American Interest

Previous posts @World Affairs

Jagdish Bhagwati is University Professor of Economics, Law, and International Relations at Columbia University and Director of the Raj Center on Indian Economic Policies.

Contributions to Economics & Related Disciplines

Honors and Awards

In the Media

For latest media coverage, see In the Media


Professor Bhagwati worked regularly with Project Syndicate and The American Interest (overseen by Francis Fukuyama and Walter Russell Mead). Now his columns are reproduced here and in the Raj Institute on Indian Economic Policies.

Most Recent Blog: War on black money: Demonetisation is a courageous reform that will bring substantive benefits in The Times of India: by Jagdish Bhagwati, Pravin Krishna, and Suresh Sundaresan


Globalisation with a human face in The Guardian: "Jagdish Bhagwati, not a typical right-wing neo-liberal" Davos Annual Meeting 2011 - Revitalizing Global Trade Professor Bhagwati nominated for the Nobel Prize in Economics: Professor Jagdish Bhagwati Called Upon by World Leaders to Find Ways to Boost Global Trade. Also mentioned in The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times,, Irish Times, Business & Leadership, and on Prime Minister David Cameron's web site

Professor Bhagwati's 70th Birthday Celebration

Family Members of Prominence

Recent Books

Why Growth Matters: How Economic Growth in India Reduced Poverty and the Lessons for Other Developing Countries with Arvind Panagariya (PublicAffairs, April 9, 2013) Click for Reviews.

Since gaining its independence in 1947, India has experimented with a variety of economic policies aimed at alleviating poverty. Only after India embraced market-oriented "liberal" reforms in the 1990s reversing India's counterproductive policy framework that proliferated controls and embraced autarky in trade and DFI inflows, did its growth accelerate growth and, in turn, reduced poverty so that growth was in fact "inclusive." In their new book Why Growth Matters, CFR Senior Fellow Jagdish Bhagwati and Columbia University economist Arvind Panagariya argue that growth also produced increased revenues which are now enabling India to undertake the "redistributive" programs such as healthcare and education for the poor. They also discuss the relevance of the Indian experience to other "large" developing countries where redistribution must await growth and enhanced revenues from that growth. Further liberalization is India's best hope for achieving the kind of accelerated, sustained economic growth needed to make significant progress in easing poverty.

India's Tryst with Destiny: Debunking Myths that Undermine Progress and Addressing New Challenges with Arvind Panagariya (Harper Collins,India; November 2012)

This book (published in India by Harper Collins and as "Why Growth Matters" by PublicAffairs in the United States)counters negative perceptions about economic reforms. By exposing and deconstruncting long-standing myths, the authors demonstrate the lack of evidence that is often used to undermine reforms in India.

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Reforms and Economic Transformation in India with Arvind Panagariya (Oxford University Press, USA; November 2, 2012) India's Reforms: How they Produced Inclusive Growth with Arvind Panagariya (Oxford University Press, 2012)

When India embraced systematic economic reforms in 1991 and began opening its economy to both domestic and foreign competition, critics argued that they had contributed little to the acceleration of economic growth. Their argument had rested on the claim that growth in the 1990s was no faster than in the 1980s. This claim was quickly refuted on the grounds that when properly evaluated, growth had indeed accelerated in the 1990s and more importantly, while reforms had been made systematic in 1991, they had actually begun much earlier in the late 1970s. Subsequently, the reforms of the late 1990s and early 2000s have led to a jump in the growth rate from six percent in the 1990s to eight to nine percent beginning in 2003. The reforms have also led to a major structural change in the economy: the trade to GDP ratio has tripled since 1991, there has been a gigantic expansion of foreign investment in India, and sectors such as telecommunications, airlines, and automobiles have expanded at rates much higher than at any time in the past. This dramatic turnaround has led critics to shift ground. They now argue that opening the economy to trade has hurt the poor; that rapid growth is leaving socially disadvantaged groups behind; and that reforms have led to increased inequality. The essays in this volume take these challenges head-on. They use large-scale sample surveys and other data to systematically address each of the arguments.

Offshoring of American Jobs: What Response from U.S. Economic Policy? with Alan S. Blinder (The MIT Press, 2009)

It is no surprise that many fearful American workers see the call center operator in Bangalore or the factory worker in Guangzhou as a threat to their jobs. The emergence of China and India (along with other, smaller developing countries) as economic powers has doubled the supply of labor to the integrated world economy. Economic theory suggests that such a dramatic increase in the supply of labor without an accompanying increase in the supply of capital is likely to exert downward pressure on wages for workers already in the integrated world economy, and wages for most workers in the United States have indeed stagnated or declined. In this book, leading economists Jagdish Bhagwati and Alan S. Blinder offer their perspectives on how the outsourcing of labor and the shifting of jobs to lower-wage countries affect the U.S. economy and what, if any, policy responses are required.

Bhagwati, in his colorful and pithy style, focuses on globalization and free trade, while Blinder, erudite and witty, addresses the significance of labor market adjustment caused by trade. Bhagwati's and Blinder's contributions are followed by comments from economists Richard Freedman, Douglas A. Irwin, Lori G. Kletzer, and Robert Z. Lawrence. Bhagwati and Blinder then respond separately to the issues raised. Benjamin Friedman, who edited this volume (and organized the symposium that inspired it), provides an introduction.

Alvin Hansen Symposium on Public Policy at Harvard University

Skilled Immigration Today: Prospects, Problems, and Policies with Gordon Hanson (Oxford University Press, 2009)

Skilled immigration into rich countries and competition for talent and professional skills are of major concern among nations today. Comprehensive immigration reform addressed to illegal immigration predictably foundered in Congress last year. This revived the question of skilled immigration and was hastily added to the proposed reform agenda in the hope that it would bring more pro-immigration troops into battle. Immigration reform still failed but it will not die. The specific issue of skilled immigration, and how to redesign it, will remain one of the central issues before the world community as well.

How important is this phenomenon? How do the legal-immigration systems of rich countries address this need? How do professional associations that may find such inflows a threat to their members' earnings seek to curtail these flows? What are the implications on the sending countries, which are generally less developed, when rich countries admit skilled professionals from them? Is it correct to object that the rich countries are depriving the poor ones of badly needed professionals (especially in Africa)? What should our immigration policies be in this regard? How should tax policy, for example, be changed in light of the growing phenomenon of skilled migrant flows? These and a host of related policy questions are addressed uniquely in Skilled Immigration Today. Bhagwati and Hanson present an informed awareness of the rich historical analysis of the phenomenon and several policy initiatives already attempted with sophisticated theoretical analysis. The essays, with an overview that ties them together, are written by today's foremost immigration experts.

Recent Content

""Germany determined too keep EU intact." Bloomberg, Jun. 12, 2015. "PM's pledges can't be implemented in a year." Times of India, May. 21, 2015. "One year of Modi government: PM's reform speed is rightfully slow, soome slogans no good." Economic Times, May 19, 2015. "The false alarm over Christians in India." Livemint, Mar. 30, 2015. "Rural inefficiency act: Despite protests about diluting NREGA, the PM is right to confine it to 200 poorest districts." Times of India, Oct. 23, 2014. "Scaling up the Gujarat model." The Hindu, Sep 20, 2014. "Green Cards vs. Citizenship." The Wall Street Journal, Jagdish Bhagwati & May L. Yang, May 9, 2014. "The World Trade System Trends and Challenges." Columbia University & Johns Hopkins University, Jagdish Bhagwati, Pravin Krishna, Arvind Panagariya, May 3, 2014. "On immigration, look to the states." Los Angeles Times, Dec 15, 2013. "Dawn of a New System." Finance & Development, December, 2013. "A Kinder, Gentler Immigration Policy." Foreign Affairs, December, 2013 "Another Man's Poison." Times of India, September 8, 2013. "Populism may prove to be a poison pill." Financial Times , August 21, 2013. "Cost of Medical Devices, in the U.S. and Abroad." The New York Times , August 7, 2013. "Signing up to safety laws does workers more harm than good." Financial Times , July 18, 2013. "Go for growth in India." The Economist , July 13, 2013. "Restrictions 'help US unions more than workers'." Deutsche Welle , July 3, 2013. "Responsibility is Local, Not Global." The New York Times , May 2, 2013. "Don't blame the brands." Prospect Magazine , April 2, 2013. "Guestworkers: Hard To Turn Off Flow." YaleGlobal , February 25, 2013. "How to help feminism." Prospect Magazine , January 23, 2013. "Futurama." The Daily Beast , January 23, 2013. "Offshoring & outsourcing." The Economist , January 22, 2013. "Blame Bangladesh,Not the Brands." The New York Times , December 30, 2012. "Untenable critiques sowing confusion on supposed ill-effects of retail FDI." The Economic Times , October 16, 2012. "A Time for Gaffes." The Times of India , October 1, 2012. "Plagiarism is more than an academic matter." Financial Times , August 16, 2012. "Doha's Retreat." Handelsblatt , July 24, 2012. "Shaping India's Future." The Times of India , June 26, 2012. "Reasons to be optimistic about India's economy." Financial Times , June 6, 2012. "Okonjo-Iweala offers bank both macro and micro vision." Financial Times , April 6, 2012. "Shame on You, Mr Obama, for Pandering on Trade." Financial Times , February 6, 2012. "Selling the Wrong Idea." with Rajeev Koli, Times of India , December 12, 2011. "How Global Trade can Rein in Health Care Costs." CNN Money, September 16, 2011. "The Heart of the Problem." The Times of India, September 3, 2011. "Open Letter to President Obama." August 31, 2011. "The Wrong Way to Free Trade." The New York Times, July 24, 2011. "Free Trade, Safe Trade: Poor Economic Policies can be Rather Painful, Literally." The Times of India, July 18, 2011. "Einige Anekdoten zum Freihandel (Free Trade, Safe Trade)." Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, July 16, 2011. "The Debate: Manufacturing." The, June 28,2011 - July 8, 2011. "Indian Reforms: Yesterday and Today." Chapter from Growth and Poverty: The Great Debate, June 2011. "Don’t let Usual Suspects Decide on Next IMF boss." Financial Times, May 26, 2011. "By a Strange Irony, We Now Have the Chance to Close a Deal at Doha." Financial Times, May 6, 2011. "Bin Laden's Death is an Opportunity to Close Doha Deal." Letters to the Financial Times, May 6, 2011. "A Modest Proposal in Defense of Free Speech." The New Republic, March 25, 2011. "Indian Reforms: Yesterday and Today." Speech delivered to the Indian Lok Sabha, December 2, 2010. "India’s reform and growth have lifted all boats." Financial Times. "This is how economic reforms have transformed India." Edited excerpts of Professor Bhagwati’s lecture at the Indian Parliament on December 2, 2010. "Corruption Exaggerated in India." Hindustan Times, December 02, 2010. "In Search of Virtue." Book review of Gurcharan Das’s The Difficulty of Being Good, October 11, 2010. "Time for a Rethink." Finance & Development, September, 2010. "Lessons from the Current Crisis." QFinance, August 25, 2010. "Expanding India's Expertise." Times of India, Aug 21, 2010. Letter to the Economist, July 10, 2010. WTO DG Pascal Lamy's Preface for the French Edition of In Defense of Globalization by Odile Jacob, 2010. For other articles, please see the full list of papers.