The Indian Economy Blog

Archive for October, 2005

Happy Diwali

Monday, October 31st, 2005

A Happy Diwali to all, from IEB And where relevant, a Happy New Year. Pix courtesy Manish Vij

Conference on Economic Development and National Security in India

Sunday, October 30th, 2005

Announcement: The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the US India Institute are sponsoring a Conference on Economic Development and National Security in India in Washington, DC, on Nov 16. The intent of the Conference is to contribute to the debate on the interactions between national security and economic development. Specifically it will focus [...]

Middle-class Interest Groups

Sunday, October 30th, 2005

Following up on the post about interest groups holding back reform. We usually think of these groups as trade unions or cussed farmer lobbies. How about the pampered urban middle-classes? Shekhar Gupta castigates the citizens of South Delhi for trying to undermine reform of the water supply system.

What Holds Back Reform in India – Ideas, Interest Groups or Ineptitude?

Sunday, October 30th, 2005

I would like to initiate a discussion on this matter. I do not believe that in general the free play of market forces is either necessary (look at China) or sufficient (the US was a more free market economy than it is today when it slipped into the Great Depression) to deliver rapid economic growth. [...]

The Long And Winding Road

Saturday, October 29th, 2005

First it was the Wall Street Journal. Then it was Yale Global , followed by the Economist. And now, it’s Fortune’s turn to tell us that India isn’t an economic juggernaut — and isn’t likely to become one, in the near future. Clay Chandler laments India’s almost willful disregard for the fundamentals of developmental economics. [...]

Labour Aristocrats

Friday, October 28th, 2005

Today’s lead editorial in the Times of India is spot on regarding the “labour movement” in India. India’s unionised labour is a tiny, entrenched labour aristocracy which when not forcing lock-outs and shutdowns, hikes pay and perks for their own members and makes it extremely tough for poorer, lower-wage workers to enter the job market. [...]

The Economist on Indian Economic Reforms

Friday, October 28th, 2005

Taking note of the 8.1% growth recorded by the Indian economy, The Economist is carrying a couple of stories on the constraints on the Indian economy. The magazine has a leader on India and China, followed by a special report on India called Democracy’s Drawbacks. The report addresses all the usual issues, including the Left’s [...]

McKinsey Quarterly Interviews Ratan Tata

Thursday, October 27th, 2005

A couple days back, Yazad had linked to a Newsweek profile of the Tata Group, describing them as a kinder, gentler, multi-national. The McKinsey Quarterly picks up on the same theme in this interview with Ratan Tata. On the economics of the people’s car. Today we’re producing a $7,000 car, the Indica. Here we’re talking [...]

Blogs & Development Thinking

Thursday, October 27th, 2005

Tim Harford and Pablo Halkyard, co-authors of the World Bank Blog on how blogging will affect development economics . ….the playing field is much more level than it was even a year ago. Being a big organisation counts for very little in the booming world of blogs – what counts is quick, relevant content. And [...]

Still A Long Way To Go

Thursday, October 27th, 2005

Pranab Bardhan writes in YaleGlobal: What about the hordes of Indian software engineers, call-center operators, and back-room programmers supposedly hollowing out white-collar jobs in rich countries? The total number of workers in all possible forms of IT-related jobs in India comes to less than a million workers – one-quarter of one percent of the Indian [...]

RBI in inflation fighting mode

Tuesday, October 25th, 2005

Given the rise in inflation, it was inevitable. The RBI just announced its decision to increase short-term interest rates by 25 basis points. The central bank lifted its reverse repo rate, used to drain liquidity from the money market, by a quarter of a percentage point to 5.25 percent, prompting stocks and the rupee to [...]

Tata, Corporate Social Responsibility and Milton Friedman

Monday, October 24th, 2005

Newsweek has a nice little article on the Tata Group. Tata is a window into the rise of India. While that rise is often traced to free-market reforms that began in the early ’90s, Tata executives emphasize that even now, the company grows despite obstacles thrown up by red tape and special interests. Unlike China’s [...]

Don’t Insult BPO Workers

Monday, October 24th, 2005

I’m a little tired of people equating BPO with the slave trade, and BPO workers with coolies. Take this article, for instance, which cites “the first major study of labour practices in Indian call centres,” and compares them with “Roman slave ships.” That is a ridiculous analogy, and it insults the people who work in [...]

How Things Change

Monday, October 24th, 2005

Narayana Murthy says on BBC’s Hard Talk (transcript in the Indian Express): [B]etween 1981 and 1991, we had tremendous friction to business. At a point it took us around three years and about 25 visits to Delhi to import a computer worth $50,000, it would take us about 10 days to get approval to travel [...]

India Inc goes shopping

Friday, October 21st, 2005

In the India-China international acquisitions game, China has been hogging all the limelight. Just in past year or so, Lenovo acquired IBM, while Haier and CNOOC were rebuffed in their attempts to buy Maytag and UNOCAL respectively. In all of this noise, what is being missed is that India is making quite a large number [...]

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