Economic Growth, Population and Poverty Numbers

I normally don't do numbers. But in this post, I will have to refer to numbers because wealth and poverty have to be understood quantitatively too. So let's do the numbers. It is an amazing fact that extreme poverty has fallen both in absolute and relative terms. The world’s population living in extreme poverty has … Continue reading Economic Growth, Population and Poverty Numbers

Pro-poor policies work

Pro-industrial policies promote industry, pro-health policy promote health, pro-education policies promote education. So it is natural that India's pro-poor policies -- and let's be very clear that every single one of India's economic policies have been pro-poor -- work and promote poverty and the number of poor keeps on going up. The absolute number keeps … Continue reading Pro-poor policies work

Global Poverty and the Cell Phone

A magazine article in the New York Times of April 13th has the rather mistaken and misleading title "Can the Cell Phone End Global Poverty?" (Hat tip: Abhishek Sarda). The article title is misleading because it doesn't even remotely attempt to answer that question. It is instead about what is called a "human-behavior researcher" or … Continue reading Global Poverty and the Cell Phone

Reality Disconnect

There appears to be a thriving cottage industry which is primarily engaged in churning out shallow pieces of journalistic garbage. The pieces detail a particular person's or family's struggles and then juxtapose it in some dramatic way with perceived overall prosperity. The implicit argument is that there is an immense injustice being perpetrated against the … Continue reading Reality Disconnect

The Sustaining of Poverty

The Oxfam America site asks In a World of Abundance, Why Hunger? (July 8, 2002) Poverty and hunger are the world's greatest challenges 1.2 billion people--one out of five--live on less than $1 a day. More than 800 million people are hungry, including 31 million in the United States. Every day, 24,000 people die from … Continue reading The Sustaining of Poverty

The National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme

In a land where reportedly every generalization is trivially true, one generalization holds non-trivially and with overwhelming force. It is this: Indian governments are pro-poor. Every policy that any government ever espouses, fundamentally it always is pro-poor, irrespective of any minor variations such as pro-market or pro-planning or pro-industrialization or pro-globalization or pro-self sufficiency or … Continue reading The National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme

Culture Matters

Economists conventionally list land, labor and capital as the three factors of production. If combined appropriately using the right technology, stuff is produced. This produced stuff is then the total income. Productive efficiency is important of course for a society to be economically secure. Then there is the matter of equity. You have to distribute … Continue reading Culture Matters