Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Krugman's 2007 essay on Milton Friedman shows us what we are missing in India- economists who can communicate ideas about economics to non-economists in a manner that is not dead boring to the latter. Amartya Sen writes beautifully and simply but rarely, and when he does, he is basically angsting about the lack of government expenditure in health care and education (not that, that's not worth angsting about, I hasten to add). Jean Dreze primarily writes about the Food Security Act or poverty talking more in terms of policy than economics. And then there are these bunch of people (Surjit Bhalla, NIPFP professors, chief economists for random banks or their underpaid, uncredited subordinates) who write on issues that can only be lumped under economics (inflation and investment and manufacturing growth and other things regular people don't give a shit about) but they never talk about economic theory, always focusing on the dal-chawal issues, to  harangue the RBI or the government about policy rates or Make in India or the fiscal deficit.  Subir Gokarn is a sometimes-exception. Having read a collection of old columns by Kaushik Basu however, I vote for him to start writing for newspapers again. 

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