Kaushik Basu

Kaushik Basu is C. Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell University and former Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at the World Bank. He is the author of An Economist in the Real World (MIT Press).

  • The State of Economics, the State of the World

    The State of Economics, the State of the World

    Kaushik Basu, David Rosenblatt, and Claudia Sepúlveda

    Leading economists address the ongoing challenges to economics in theory and practice in a time of political and economic crises.

    More than a decade of financial crises, sovereign debt problems, political conflict, and rising xenophobia and protectionism has left the global economy unsettled and the ability of economics as a discipline to account for episodes of volatility uncertain. In this book, leading economists consider the state of their discipline in a world of ongoing economic and political crises.

    The book begins with three sweeping essays by Nobel laureates Kenneth Arrow (in one of his last published works), Amartya Sen, and Joseph Stiglitz that offer a summary of the theoretical foundations of modern economics—the twin pillars of general equilibrium theory and welfare economics. Contributors then turn to macroeconomic stabilization and growth and, finally, new areas of research that depart from traditional theory, methodology, and concerns: climate change, behavioral economics, and evolutionary game theory. The 2019 Nobel Prize laureates, Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, and Michael Kremer, contribute a paper on the use of randomized control trials indevelopment economics.

    Contributors Philippe Aghion, Ingela Alger, Kenneth Arrow, Abhijit Banerjee, Kaushik Basu, Lawrence Blume, Guillermo Calvo, Francesco Caselli, Asli Demirgüç-Kunt, Shantayanan Devarajan, Esther Duflo, Samuel Fankhauser, James Foster, Varun Gauri, Xavier Gine, Gäel Giraud, Gita Gopinath, Robert Hockett, Karla Hoff, Ravi Kanbur, Aart Kraay, Michael Kremer, David McKenzie, Célestin Monga, Maurice Obstfeld, Hamid Rashid, Martin Ravallion, Amartya Sen, Luis Servén, Hyun Song Shin, Nicholas Stern, Joseph Stiglitz, Cass Sunstein, Michael Toman, Jörgen Weibull

    • Hardcover $40.00 £32.00
  • An Economist in the Real World

    An Economist in the Real World

    The Art of Policymaking in India

    Kaushik Basu

    An economist's perspective on the nuts and bolts of economic policymaking, based on his experience as the Chief Economic Adviser in India.

    In December 2009, the economist Kaushik Basu left the rarefied world of academic research for the nuts and bolts of policymaking. Appointed by the then Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, to be chief economic adviser (CEA) to the Government of India, Basu—a theorist, with special interest in development economics, and a professor of economics at Cornell University—discovered the complexity of applying economic models to the real world. Effective policymaking, Basu learned, integrates technical knowledge with political awareness. In this book, Basu describes the art of economic policymaking, viewed through the lens of his two and a half years as CEA.

    Basu writes from a unique perspective—neither that of the career bureaucrat nor that of the traditional researcher. Plunged into the deal-making, non-hypothetical world of policymaking, Basu suffers from a kind of culture shock and views himself at first as an anthropologist or scientist, gathering observations of unfamiliar phenomena. He addresses topics that range from the macroeconomic—fiscal and monetary policies—to the granular—designing grain auctions and policies to assure everyone has access to basic food. Basu writes about globalization and India's period of unprecedented growth, and he reports that at a dinner hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, President Obama joked to him, “You should give this guy some tips”—“this guy” being Timothy Geithner. Basu describes the mixed success of India's anti-poverty programs and the problems of corruption, and considers the social norms and institutions necessary for economic development. India is, Basu argues, at an economics crossroad. As CEA from 2009 to 2012, he was present at the creation of a potential economic powerhouse.

    • Hardcover $19.75 £15.99
    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00
  • India's Emerging Economy

    India's Emerging Economy

    Performance and Prospects in the 1990s and Beyond

    Kaushik Basu

    Essays by leading academics, policymakers, and industrialists examine India's economic success in the late 1990s.

    India's economy over the last decade looks in many ways like a success story; after a major economic crisis in 1991, followed by bold reform measures, the economy has experienced a rapid economic growth rate, more foreign investment, and a boom in the information technology sector. Yet many in the country still suffer from crushing poverty, and social and political unrest remains a problem. These essays by leading academics, policymakers, and industrialists—including one by Amartya Sen, the 1998 winner of the Nobel Prize in economics for his work on poverty and inequality—examine the facts of India's recent economic successes and their social and cultural context.

    India's rate of economic growth after the 1991 reforms were instituted reached a remarkable 7 percent for three consecutive years, from 1994 to 1997. Several contributors to India's Emerging Economy ask what this means for the nation as a whole. In his essay "Democracy and Secularism in India," Amartya Sen argues that economic progress is not the only way to measure a nation's performance. Other essays examine the actual effect India's economic growth has had on reducing poverty and recommend policies to empower the poor. Essays also address such issues as globalization and the vulnerabilities and opportunities it creates, India's experience with monetary and fiscal reform, the rapid growth of the information technology sector (including a case study of India's software industry), and India's grassroots economy.

    • Hardcover $10.75 £8.99
  • Analytical Development Economics

    Analytical Development Economics

    The Less Developed Economy Revisited

    Kaushik Basu

    Virtually all industrialized nations have annual per capita incomes greater than $15,000; meanwhile, over three billion people, more than half the worlds population, live in countries with per capita incomes of less than $700. Development economics studies the economies of such countries and the problems they face, including poverty, chronic underemployment, low wages, rampant inflation, and oppressive international debt. In the past two decades, the international debt crisis, the rise of endogenous growth theory, and the tremendous success of some Asian economies have generated renewed interest in development economics, and the field has grown and changed dramatically.

    Although Analytical Development Economics deals with theoretical development economics, it is closely grounded in reality. The author draws on a wide range of evidence, including some gathered by himself in the village of Nawadih in the state of Bihar, India, where—in huts and fields, and in front of the village tea stall—he talked with landlords, tenants, moneylenders, and landless laborers. The author presents theoretical results in such a way that those doing empirical work can go out and test the theories.

    The book is a revision of Basu's The Less Developed Economy: A Critique of Contemporary Theory (Blackwell, 1984). The new edition, which has several new chapters and sections, incorporates recent theoretical advances in its comprehensive, up-to-date treatment of the subject. It is intended primarily as a textbook for a one-semester graduate course, but will also be of interest to researchers in economic development and to policymakers.

    • Hardcover $75.00 £62.00
    • Paperback $50.00 £40.00