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

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Surviving Debt and Survival Debt in Times of Lockdown

This research has been made possible due to the financial support of the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF), through the COVINDIA project, which combines food distribution to villagers and a survey of villagers’ survival tactics and strategies. For more details, see https://odriis.hypotheses.org/projects#covindia . We sincerely thank Barbara Harriss-White, Judith Heyer, Solène Morvant-Roux, and Jean-Michel Servet for their helpful comments on an earlier draft.

Competing Frameworks of Economic Thought

Macroeconomics: An Introduction by Alex M Thomas , Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, New Delhi and Singapore: Cambridge University Press, 2021 ; pp xx + 234 , price not indicated.

Finance, Banking, Money, in That Order

The “Banking: Theory & Policy” class of 2020–21 was a sounding board. The comments of an anonymous reviewer added value to an earlier draft. The usual caveats apply.

Reading K N Raj in the Age of Free Market Fundamentalism

This article tries to assess how K N Raj would have weighed in on some of the major contemporary issues like the trade policy, farm crisis and reprivatisation of public sector banks on the basis of his many writings. It also highlights his views on the fundamental orientation that an academic discipline like economics needs to have for contemporary social relevance.

Market Mindset Mars Medical Care in China

Commercialisation of Medical Care in China: Changing Landscapes by Rama V Baru and Madhurima Nundy, Oxon and New York: Routledge, 2020; pp xviii + 112, Rs 695.

The Fallacy of Trickle-down Economics: Whom Does ‘Wealth Creation’ Benefit?

While the theory of “trickle down” of wealth to the poor is often invoked to support the government’s neo-liberal policies, such as tax cuts and other financial incentives for the private sector that benefit the rich, in reality, such policies have not been successful in bridging economic inequalities.

Piketty’s Capital and Ideology

Capital and Ideology by Thomas Piketty, Cambridge Massachusetts: Harvard University Press; pp 1104, $39.95 (hardcover).

Bringing Economic History Back into Curriculums

Pluralistic Economics and Its History edited by Ajit Sinha and Alex M Thomas, Routledge, India, 2019; pp xi + 310, ₹ 1,495 (hardback).

Reimagining Public Policy Studies in India

Public Policy: A View from the South by Vishal Narain, New Delhi: Cambridge University Press, 2018; pp x + 213, ₹ 495.

From Balmikis to Bengalis

The reorganisation of informal household garbage collection work in Delhi is analysed, as migrants from eastern states like West Bengal have begun doing manual waste work, even as their Balmikis deal only with monthly cash payments. Drawing on fieldwork, the effect on the Balmiki jamadars is noted, and the Bengali Muslims, who newly contend with the practices of untouchability in their neighbourhoods of work, are focused on. These newer migrants come to justify the shame they experience by focusing on the equivalence of scrap with money, which has redemptive potential. This reveals a dynamic process through which caste differences are being remade—”casteification”—in relation to economic life.

The Future of Globalisation

An analysis of globalisation in a historical perspective can help us understand how the past or the present may shape the future. In so doing, this article outlines the contours of the present era of globalisation since its inception, circa 1975, to find that the successive epochs of globalisation during the second millennium came to an abrupt end because of their own consequences embedded in the process. Given this, the article seeks to focus on the present conjuncture, at the intersection of economics and politics, when globalisation is again in crisis to reflect on its future.

India’s Slowdown

Investments in industry have slowed down considerably in the recent years, as has agricultural growth. Falling levels of capacity utilisation, building up of food stocks and the state of liquidity in the economy sufficiently prove that the problem today is the lack of demand. Rural distress, rising inequality and falling real wages are driving down demand. The government’s response to the slowdown has been woefully inadequate. The biggest impediment to policymaking is not the lack of ideas, but the blinkered vision of economics.

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