Bhagwati on Democracy and Markets

Jagdish Bhagwati has been much in the English popular press in India recently. I have been familiar with his work since my econ grad school days. I had done a couple of courses on international trade (taught by the great Prof Pranab Bardhan) and read from Bhagwati & Srinivasan’s venerated textbook “Lectures on International Trade.” I have referred to Prof Bhagwati on this blog several times previously.

I have learned a lot from Prof Bhagwati and find myself on the same side as he on many political economy issues. Which is more than I can say about Prof Amartya Sen. I think Sen is a brilliant man but I am situated almost diametrically opposite to him on the ideological plane. I believe his policy prescriptions are ultimately severely damaging to India and its development. Like most people, present company included, Sen has his biases: his bias happens to be towards socialism and statism (the government control of economic and social policy.) This suits the UPA and the Congress party really well. What surprised me was that Sen waded into the cesspool of Indian politics and showed himself to be a shill for Antonia Maino by declaring that Narendra Modi is not fit to be the PM of India.
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