22 July 2011

Growth and Poverty-the great debate

CUTS-International has brought out a compilation of the various views on growth and poverty, sparked off  by Jagdish Bhagwati's lecture posted in the group forum in January. The discussion online did get quite heated and involved many noted economists, CUTS has made this available to everyone through their website - enjoy!

Some Reflections
I believe that the differences between Sen and Bhagwati are less substantive than what is popularly made out to be. On a variety of important policy matters, they use different languages but say very similar things. My only worry is that even on this Sen and Bhagwati will agree that I am wrong.
Kaushik Basu, Chief Economic Adviser, Ministry of Finance, Government of India
There is a case for land reforms that make the conversion of land into industrial use less fraught; there is a case wide-ranging educational reform which makes it easier for the poor to access quality education; and there is a case for revamping primary healthcare to make it much more functional.
Abhijit Banerjee, Department of Economics, Massachsetts Institute of Technology, US
Obviously, higher incomes are a necessary condition for better state-funded welfare, better jobs and so forth. This is simply not debatable. Indeed, only in India, do serious intellectuals dream of debating these issues.
Martin Wolf, Chief Economics Commentator, Financial Times, London

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