Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Real World Economics

Kaushik Basu

Will developed-country populism hollow out emerging markets’ growth prospects? Are big regional trade pacts doomed? Can Asia’s economies integrate if the United States stands on the sidelines? Are global supply chains agile enough to withstand rising protectionism? Will India ever achieve double-digit growth? 

Donald Trump’s election as US president, together with the growing threat of protectionism and muddled politics and policies in many emerging markets, has meant that the rise of once-poor countries into the ranks of the developed economies no longer seems inevitable. The international structures – economic, financial, legal, and strategic – that have guided global development for three decades are now being challenged not only by the prospect of isolationism in the US and other parts of the rich world, but also by China’s efforts to establish rival institutions to promote its own global ambitions.

At a time of worldwide flux and uncertainty, truly global expertise is needed more than ever. And while few people have shaped economic policy from all three of the commanding heights of policymaking – government, international institutions, and academe – Kaushik Basu has. A former chief economist of the World Bank, chief economic adviser to the government of India, and Professor of Economics at Cornell University, Kaushik Basu has grappled with the world’s most vexing economic and development problems from every imaginable angle. And his books – Beyond the Invisible Hand, An Economist in the Real World, and The Retreat of Democracy – reveal a strikingly original mind grappling with fundamental questions: how to secure poverty reduction and enhance human freedom.

Every month in Real World Economics, written exclusively for Project Syndicate, Kaushik Basu examines the myriad – and often interlinked – economic, financial, political, environmental, and health issues that today’s globalized economy has brought to the fore. Cosmopolitan, clear-headed, and open to daring ideas and innovations, and yet deeply engaged with the economics of India, his home country, Kaushik Basu combines the informed voice of the policymaker with the critical perspective of the gifted scholar.

Shouldn’t your readers see what he sees?

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