ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A History of Contemporary Economic Theories

The Age of Fragmentation: A History of Contemporary Economic Thought by Alessandro Roncaglia, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019; pp x + 442, $39.99.

Romer and Nordhaus’s Nobel Winning Contributions

The contributions of Paul Romer and William Nordhaus to both economic theory and policy are critically assessed here. By undertaking a brief history of economic thinking prior to their pioneering work, it validates the Nobel award. However, it is argued that the Nobel Prize has mostly been awarded to work that employs neoclassical, or more accurately, marginalist assumptions. On the policy front, it is suggested that India should formulate its economic policies by drawing inspiration from some of the work by Samuel Bowles and Mariana Mazzucato alongside that of Romer and Nordhaus.

A Post-Keynesian Approach to Understanding the Black Economy

Macroeconomics of the Black Economy by Saumen Chattopadhyay, Hyderabad: Orient Blackswan, 2018; pp xx + 276, ₹ 795.

Rethinking Undergraduate Economics Education

Worldwide, a concerted and systematic criticism of the way economics is taught began after the onslaught of the 2007 global financial crisis. In India, postgraduate economics education has received more attention than its undergraduate counterpart. After identifying some structural constraints of undergraduate education in India, a set of curricular and pedagogic recommendations to improve undergraduate economics education is explored.

Classical Economics, Marx, Marginalism, and Keynes

Economic Thought: A Brief History by Heinz D Kurz translated by Jeremiah Riemer, New York: Columbia University Press, 2016; pp viii+208, $27.

Economic Survey 2014-15

The Economic Survey is an important economic document published every year by the Ministry of Finance. This article undertakes a critical assessment of the vision of economic growth embedded in the Economic Survey 2014–15. It is argued that the current vision of economic growth is largely supply-side in nature and that policymakers need to take cognisance of the demand-side constraints in India through the framework of demand-led growth theory—a non-mainstream approach to understanding economic growth.

On Interest, Investment and Economic Growth

In “The Interest Rate Affair,” Sugata Marjit (EPW, 4 April 2015) points out the deficiency of one particular mainstream macro­economic viewpoint. Marjit’s counterpoint, which we are in broad agreement with, is that a lower rate of interest does “not spur investments” because “[t]he rate of...

Using an Aggregate Production Function

Pranjul Bhandari's use of the Cobb-Douglas production function in "Decoding the Growth Target" (EPW, 16 March 2013) suffers from two sets of interrelated methodological problems. The first one is at the theoretical level and the second one is empirical in nature.

Cantillon's Political Economy

The 18th century Irish economist, Richard Cantillon, made lasting contributions to economics, in particular, to classical economics. This note elucidates his conception of the economy as three distinct, yet interdependent systems – (1) production, distribution and exchange, (2) money, interest and prices, and (3) international trade and finance. It is, indeed, striking to find such a comprehensive account of the mechanisms operating in an economy in a text nearly three centuries old. These insights regarding the working of an economy, although a pre-capitalist one, provide a distinct approach to studying today’s economic problems. This is the surplus approach of classical political economy, revived by Piero Sraffa in 1960.

Pierangelo Garegnani: A Tribute

Advances in neoclassical economics are often marked by fashions, new techniques masquerading as theory, and encroachments on other disciplines. In the event, a critical internal appraisal has eluded neoclassical theory. Neither economic crises of the real world nor complaints from sister disciplines seem to make much of a difference. Against this backdrop, Italian economist Pierangelo Garegnani's steadfast commitment to the scrutiny of fundamentals of economic theory is cause for celebration.

Learning from the Crisis

The article ‘Wall Street: Hoist With Its Own Petard’ (September 27) by D N Ghosh argues that it is lack of regulation that mainly led to the crisis. I do agree with his analysis; however, I also believe that there is a lot to be learned from the crisis, especially for India, and not merely “watch...
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