Economic Policies Matter

Economic policies matter. All else being equal, lousy economic policies create lousy economies. Individually people all over the world have approximately the same natural endowments. What makes a difference is the nurture provided by the environment. And that environment is exogenous to an individual but endogenous to the entire collection of individuals which is called … Continue reading Economic Policies Matter

Use it instead of merely exporting IT.

ICT and Development ICT presents an opportunity for developing countries to make more efficient use of the available resources. However, ICT is neither necessary nor sufficient for economic development. The advanced industrialized countries were underdeveloped (by today's standards) once upon a time and their transition from subsistence to a modern exchange economy did not involve … Continue reading Use it instead of merely exporting IT.

The Fundamental Problem of Development (Part 1)

Economics concerns itself with one fundamental problem, that of allocating scarce resources efficiently and optimally. (Vocabulary Digression: Efficient means that there is no waste. If we divide a cookie between the two of us, and some of it falls into the trash, the division is not efficient. Thus efficiency requires lack of waste of resources. … Continue reading The Fundamental Problem of Development (Part 1)

The Lop-sided Sex Ratio (revisited)

Vivek's reaction to my position on the lop-sided sex ratio is curious. He writes: I find it impossible not to breast beat, bitch and moan about the murder of innocent girls because their 'net present value' is lower than that of boys. I am wierd that way. Yes, I think the foetuses has rights. Not … Continue reading The Lop-sided Sex Ratio (revisited)

India’s Wonderful Reforms

In an Indian Express article by Vijay Kelkar (Advisor to the Finance Minister) and Ajay Shah (Consultant, Department of economic affairs) ponder the question Why is this a very happy Diwali? (Oct 2003) Their answer is REFORMS. It is an interesting article and it belongs to the same class as the series of articles that … Continue reading India’s Wonderful Reforms


Every institution exists only in the mind. Each is a manifestation of a very old, very basic idea -- the idea of community. They can be no more or less than the sum of the beliefs of the people drawn to them; of their character, judgments, acts, and efforts. Dee Hock, founder of VISA.