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.
Visit indianeconomy.columbia.edu for more information.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 UniversitySkilled 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.