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Feb 25, 2017-Saturday
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Abhijit Banerjee
Abhijit Banerjee

Abhijit Banerjee is Ford Foundation Professor of Economics at MIT and co-Founder and Director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab. He is naive enough to continue to believe in hope and reason.

  • Jan 21, 2017 18:24
    Presidency University is struggling to hold on to its best people today in part because as a state government institution in a poor state, it pays at least 40% less than its competitors who benefit from the munificence of the central government. read more
  • Dec 20, 2016 18:00
    Even if the whole thing is a mistake in pure economic terms, demonetisation could be worth it for the PM in terms of political dividends read more
  • Nov 23, 2016 01:12
    A leader is more than just a sympathetic listener. She (or he) needs to ask questions and get people to respond candidly, listen to what they are saying, and be able to engage and sustain the resulting debate. read more
  • Nov 03, 2016 22:36
    How did the United States, a country with more than 200 years of experience with democracy, get to a situation where it is so close to electing someone who seems to be an old-fashioned fascist? To answer this, it’ll be useful to see the world from the... read more
  • Oct 11, 2016 19:57
    The strikes themselves Pakistan might have swallowed as a move in our age-old game of tit for tat. The propaganda, the public display of our delight at their expense, force their hand — it’s the smartphone moment. And we may very well come to regret... read more
  • Oct 07, 2016 23:07
    A nine-month-long training for informal providers has been found to be effective in improving the quality of healthcare delivery, prompting the West Bengal government to scale up the programme across the state read more
  • Aug 31, 2016 21:22
    Our obsession with cricket, along with malnutrition, poor sanitary conditions and lack of public playgrounds, reflect in our Olympic medals’ haul read more
  • Jun 24, 2016 22:15
    The mainstream parties have always insisted that immigrants and imports from cheaper competitors is nothing to worry about, but to the man in the street this has never made intuitive sense. When the economists were delivering results, voters were willing... read more
  • Apr 15, 2016 21:16
    Why not forget about national boundaries, just for cricket? To make this possible, administrators will need to work with their counterparts from other countries read more
  • Feb 16, 2016 23:30
    Universities and civil society are important for a democracy like ours, founded on a genuine idealism that we have a hard time holding on to read more
  • Jan 26, 2016 10:38
    The government and banks are planning to take a tough stance on loan defaulters who can pay, but will not. read more
  • Jan 19, 2016 08:28
    India is behaving like China in going after foreign aid and advocacy groups such as Greenpeace, top MIT economist Abhijit Banerjee has said, calling New Delhi’s fears unfounded and rooted in paranoia. read more
  • Jan 19, 2016 08:16
    India’s tax system is soft on the country’s super-rich with the wealthiest class of people paying far lesser levies than they ought to, economist and MIT Professor Abhijit Banerjee has said. read more
  • Dec 22, 2015 00:35
    In terms of alternatives to the odd-even rule, it is clear that one important downside of the proposed scheme is that it does not discriminate between those who just drive round the corner and those who drive hundreds of kilometres a day read more
  • Nov 25, 2015 00:49
    A potent combination of intimidation, imitation and economic stagnation are the reasons for the youth taking to terror. read more
  • Oct 16, 2015 22:11
    If the majority of peace-loving people in India choose to stay silent on Dadri-like incidents, soon we will become another Pakistan. read more
  • Aug 26, 2015 21:39
    Every time we see State power being used with impunity, every occasion when a policeman walks into a teashop and leaves without paying, diminishes the State and breeds cynicism, writes Abhijit Banerjee. read more
  • Jul 26, 2015 23:42
    The UN is finalising a fresh set of development goals. But sadly the public in India has given the run-up a miss, writes KumKum Dasgupta read more
  • Jul 22, 2015 22:45
    We need to be able to think of ways to make our institutions of higher learning exciting places to teach and be taught. read more
  • Jun 03, 2015 22:42
    It is difficult to sell insurance to the poor in India. The challenges are not insurmountable but demand imaginative solutions read more
  • Apr 27, 2015 23:49
    If you are a natural scientist, a publication the journal Science carries enormous prestige. In the last few years Science has started to publish a small number of articles in the social sciences on topics of special importance. read more
  • Mar 26, 2015 22:36
    Many years ago, Jagdish Bhagwati, a very distinguished economist long before he became one of the patron saints of the NDA, published an important paper on what he called Directly Unproductive Activities or DUP. read more
  • Feb 03, 2015 23:36
    At stake in the Delhi elections is the idea that it is possible to be competitive without using under-the-table finance. read more
  • Jan 14, 2015 00:16
    Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said the government is committed to fiscal discipline, and that the sharp decline in international oil prices and government initiatives would help keep the CAD at comfortable levels. read more
  • Jan 01, 2015 22:01
    We need parties that pay their boys decent salaries for being the professionals they could be rather than the proto-criminals they end up becoming because of the system, writes Abhijit Banerjee. read more
  • Nov 26, 2014 21:40
    We deserve to be told why the MGNREGA has been singled out for the axe, if for no other reason than to inform our views about future programmes, writes Abhijit Banerjee. read more
  • Oct 27, 2014 22:58
    Our prejudice against physical labour can only undermine Narendra Modi’s drive to turn India into a manufacturing hub, writes Abhijit Banerjee. read more
  • Oct 02, 2014 13:38
    Any attempt to do anything \'for the poor\' tends to be cloaked in such self-righteousness that hardly anyone dares to ask the necessary questions about it: does the programme itself make sense, is there anything else that we could do that would be better?... read more
  • Sep 22, 2014 20:52
    A Facebook comment by TMC MP and CM Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhijit Banerjee on Monday criticising protests over the alleged molestation of a Jadavpur University student provoked former students to take their protests global. read more
  • Aug 19, 2014 22:22
    Narendra Modi says that he will replace the Planning Commission with a think tank. But it will take some doing to attract high-quality people to work for it, writes Abhijit Banerjee. read more
  • Jul 01, 2014 22:54
    The Muzaffarnagar riots and the mauling in elections were bad enough, but things really spun out of control with the rash of rapes and gang rapes that don\'t show any sign of letting up, writes Abhijit Banerjee. read more
  • May 26, 2014 22:16
    The BJP must nurture the institutions that put credible checks and balances in place. Otherwise, the street will fight back. Abhijit Banerjee writes. read more
  • Apr 23, 2014 00:08
    One advantage of not being in power is that we can dream of reshaping the world exactly as we please. The BJP has had this luxury for some time — now the reality is about to hit it, writes Abhijit Banerjee. read more
  • Mar 25, 2014 21:17
    The tragedy of the UPA is not that it didn’t do anything, but that it is not able to take credit for what it has done. By protecting the guilty, it surrendered the governance agenda to AAP. read more
  • Jan 17, 2014 00:16
    It is rare that a party has an unchallenged leader who does not want to be nominated, which offers the great advantage that he can impose the primary on the party without worrying about what it means for his own prospects. read more
  • Dec 19, 2013 22:23
    The AAP should form the government in Delhi because if it fulfills the promises, we will have new heroes. If it fails, they can still explain why it happened. Voters in India are very forgiving — what they cannot stand is the posturing and the lying,... read more
  • Dec 05, 2013 21:56
    Beijing has changed its One Child Policy but past experience shows that demographic reversals are not easy. The experience of Japan and several countries in Southern Europe that are now trying very hard to avoid demographic collapse, suggests it is not... read more
  • Sep 28, 2013 15:36
    Strides in education, health and life expectancy may have been driven by economics, but it’s high time that we factored ecological concerns into our unprecedented growth story if we want to avert the looming disaster brought on by climate change. Abhijit... read more
  • Sep 17, 2013 16:19
    Will the HRD ministry’s proposal to allow foreign universities to set up campuses and offer degrees in India find any takers among the top international academic institutes? read more
  • Aug 28, 2013 17:39
    India’s battles for governance and growth will intensify, fought by millions of underpaid, incompetent troops writes Samar Halarnkar. read more
  • Aug 14, 2013 20:24
    India has conceived and legislated fine policies but that doesn’t mean that things actually get done. The state is dysfunctional. In the current atmosphere of pessimism, what is the best way forward? Aakar Patel writes. read more
  • Jul 30, 2013 00:21
    We cannot fix climate change on our own. It is the original collective action problem. It will not work unless almost all the large economies come together on one platform. Abhijit Banerjee writes. read more
  • Jun 24, 2013 19:10
    I must be missing something obvious. The considered opinion in India, or at least the bit of it that I read in the Press, seems to hold that the Right to Food Bill (RTF) may well be bad economics but it is surely good politics, at the least from the... read more
  • May 08, 2013 21:23
    The government\'s biggest election gamble faces misplaced criticism. It\'s not just about food but how it should reach the plates of the poor. Samar Halarnkar writes. read more
  • Apr 21, 2013 23:14
    The increasingly politically assertive middle class sees politicians as largely ineffective and corrupt. But it wants a strong leader to solve problems, exactly what Rahul has warned against, Varghese K George, Charu Sudan Kasturi and Vikas Pathak w... read more
  • Mar 31, 2013 22:35
    Private investment may not be the perfect solution to the problems our national airline faces. But, the public cannot be made to pay the high cost of public sector intervention, Abhijit Banerjee writes. read more
  • Mar 06, 2013 21:11
    The Indian State mostly avoids the discussion of principles and so every policy will always be up for grabs. This is why investment has slackened and reforms are stalled. read more
  • Jan 01, 2013 00:25
    The Aadhaar-enabled direct cash transfer scheme will not solve all problems that dog the State’s delivery programmes. Still, it is a worthwhile experiment. Abhijit Banerjee writes. read more
  • Nov 16, 2012 13:05
    Subsidies delivered through cash transfers are no magic bullet to fight poverty. It’s only a better delivery mechanism that the govt has adopted to make the welfare schemes more effective and to check misuse of funds. HT reports. read more
  • Nov 16, 2012 12:36
    Rural development minister Jairam Ramesh said today that India\'s public health system had \'collapsed\' in a blunt assessment of his government\'s failure to extend a social safety net for the poor. Cash transfers no magic bullet: Jairam Ramesh | Full coverage:... read more
  • Oct 30, 2012 22:29
    Why are we so outraged by the view that the recent rash of rapes in India has something to do with public displays of intimacy? Abhijit Banerjee writes. read more
  • Oct 03, 2012 21:15
    With reference to the report Didi, Karuna turn up FDI heat on govt (October 2), West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s criticism of the UPA’s policies is justified. read more
  • Oct 01, 2012 23:32
    Verghese Kurien was more than the \'Milkman of India\'. The systems that he put in place at Amul and its cooperatives show that he was also an innovator par excellence. Abhijit Banerjee writes. read more
  • Aug 19, 2012 14:25
    Get your list of what to read, listen, eat and watch from the proven experts in the field read more
  • Aug 01, 2012 13:45
    Indian economist Abhijit Banerjee is among the 26 people who have been named by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as members of a high-level panel to advise the world body on the global development agenda beyond 2015, the target date for the Millennium... read more
  • Jul 25, 2012 22:32
    A study on the use of improved cooking stoves in Odisha proves that new technologies work best only when they sit lightly on the lives of their users, Abhijit Banerjee writes. read more
  • Apr 15, 2012 20:30
    If the government wants to use education as a tool to break down social barriers, it must improve the State-run schools, writes Ashok Malik. read more
  • Apr 11, 2012 21:25
    With reference to the report Terror tops PM-Zardari lunch menu (April 9), it is encouraging to know that after his meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi, Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari declared that the talks between the two... read more
  • Apr 09, 2012 21:26
    Unlike Gandhi, BR Ambedkar believed that compulsion can bring about conversion. Thanks to this, caste-based discrimination and prejudice are on the decline today. Abhijit Banerjee writes. read more
  • Feb 02, 2012 21:12
    If honest data collection and transparent analysis are given short shrift, we will be left groping for hidden agendas, writes Abhijit Banerjee. read more
  • Dec 27, 2011 23:33
    With its mandate of ensuring that rules are followed, the lokpal may stifle initiative and discourage talented people from taking up bureaucratic jobs, Abhijit Banerjee writes. read more
  • Nov 13, 2011 23:24
    The Right to Education Act says much about what school premises should look like. But what about ensuring that a minimum set of skills is delivered to each child? Abhijit Banerjee writes. read more
  • Oct 31, 2011 21:03
    To implement the Right to Education effectively, we need new thinking, a new strategy and new actions. Rukmini Banerji and Michael Walton write. read more
  • Oct 24, 2011 21:33
    To end the confusion over the definition of the poverty standard, the State must define two benchmarks: an ethical one and an administrative one, writes Abhijit Banerjee. read more
  • Sep 29, 2011 10:38
    Thant Myint-U\'s Where China Meets India reigns over the non-fiction section of the bestseller list for another week, while Amish Tripathi continues to top the fiction category with The Secret of The Nagas and The Immortals of Meluha. read more
  • Sep 19, 2011 00:15
    Land prices can be manipulated. But with a few key issues firmed up, the draft Land Acquisition Bill is the best option to protect farmers from being cheated. Abhijit Banerjee writes. read more
  • Sep 01, 2011 12:46
    Amish Tripathi\'s latest book in the Shiva trilogy, The Secret of The Nagas has topped the fiction category on the bestseller list this week. Check out others on the list. read more
  • Aug 04, 2011 23:44
    The Indian taxation system encourages the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few people. This is dangerous. Abhijit Banerjee writes. read more
  • Jul 20, 2011 21:17
    Neither here, nor there. That sums up the government\'s reluctant approach to its blockbuster food legislation, writes Samar Halarnkar. read more
  • Jul 07, 2011 12:42
    Amitav Ghosh continues to rule the fiction category with his sequel River of Smoke while Henry Kissinger\'s On China is the bestseller in the non-fiction list this week. read more
  • Jun 11, 2011 07:16
    Poor Economics could disabuse you of some fairly universal myths surrounding poverty. It doesn’t just tell you where you are wrong; you also get to know why you are right when you are. read more
  • Jun 10, 2011 22:28
    A book that encourages lateral thinking to make the world more equitable. Dipankar Bhattacharyya explores. read more
  • Jun 10, 2011 22:24
    The poor think that any change that is significant enough to be worth sacrificing for will take too long. That’s why they focus on the here and now, write Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo. read more
  • Jun 05, 2011 23:23
    Kaushik Basu’s proposal of legalising bribery may not prevent the next big scam. But it has underlined the need for creative thinking to address social ills. Abhijit Banerjee writes. read more
  • May 25, 2011 23:43
    Unpaid bills of Rs 17,000 crore — and growing — have revealed hidden food subsidies and acute financial mismanagement as the government prepares to adopt the costliest, most ambitious legislation of its tenure. Samar Halarnkar reports. Skyrocketing:... read more
  • Apr 24, 2011 01:03
    This refers to Rajesh Mahapatra and Ravik Bhattacharya\'s analysis From Didi to Mamata (Variety, April 17). Banerjee is not against industrialisation. read more
  • Apr 20, 2011 13:38
    Pro-Left doctors in the city have decided to campaign for Left Front candidates contesting the assembly elections. HT reports. read more
  • Apr 17, 2011 00:32
    When I was a student in Delhi, we had this wonderful form of protest called, without any obvious irony, a ‘relay hunger-str-ike’. Abhijit Banerjee writes. read more
  • Mar 27, 2011 21:32
    Cities grow and prosper because they attract talent. In the case of Kolkata, the exodus of talent has led to more exodus. It is a former metropolis already beyond the pale. Abhijit Banerjee writes. read more
  • Feb 13, 2011 23:05
    Egypt, an oligarchy, has a rare chance to establish a genuine democracy. To ensure that, the US will need to show a great deal of forbearance. Abhijit Banerjee writes. read more
  • Dec 27, 2010 22:01
    The biggest threat to our democracy comes from our growing belief that nothing differentiates good politicians from bad ones. Abhijit Banerjee writes. read more
  • Nov 30, 2010 22:01
    Education is not a generic investment, argued economist Tapas Majumdar. So, before investing, the State should find out what the people want or believe. But our policy-makers don’t realise this at all. Abhijit Banerjee writes. read more
  • Oct 05, 2010 22:23
    In his memoir, a former IFS officer writes that India has under-performed because it failed to stick to the ideals of the Mahatma and Jawaharlal Nehru, writes Abhijit Banerjee. read more
  • Aug 21, 2010 00:08
    In his article Tank up for growth (The Poverty Line, August 14), Abhijit Banerjee questions the government\'s stand on fuel prices. However, his arguments don\'t hold water. read more
  • Aug 13, 2010 23:28
    Thanks to the Rs 60,000-crore oil subsidy bill, the Govt is living beyond its means. It’s high time the Centre decontrols fuel prices and spends that money on development, writes Abhijit Banerjee. read more
  • Jul 06, 2010 22:38
    There is no reason for the State to own airlines or airports. The private sector has the capital and management capacity to provide the necessary services, writes Abhijit Banerjee. read more
  • Jun 09, 2010 21:38
    The Indian State must work with its alienated citizens and make all Indians believe in the Idea of India, writes Abhijit Banerjee. read more
  • May 04, 2010 21:55
    The Right to Food campaign aims to alleviate child malnutrition. But to make it work, parents should make feeding children healthy food a priority, writes Abhijit Banerjee. read more
  • Mar 28, 2010 23:14
    I learnt from reading the Indian press recently that the Upper House of the Parliament had passed a Bill reserving 33 per cent of the seats in Parliament for what the press described as the ‘fair sex’, or more evenhandedly, the ‘fairer sex’, writes Abhijit... read more
  • Feb 19, 2010 23:08
    Abhijit Banerjee in Not air-conditioned (The Poverty Line, February 13) rightly described the plight of the poor in our country. read more
  • Feb 12, 2010 23:18
    The poor are the most ignorant about climate change and are the worst affected by it. We need to seriously include them in any solution package, writes Abhijit Banerjee. read more
  • Feb 05, 2010 21:37
    I agree with Pratik Kanjilal’s views in A journey without maps (Speakeasy, January 30) that the core talent that the Chinese possess is in laying claim, whether it is to Sanskrit or parts of Arunachal Pradesh. read more
  • Feb 01, 2010 23:43
    I would have liked to have met Jyoti babu. Among the Indian politicians of our times, he possessed a charisma that was quite uniquely his own. read more
  • Nov 24, 2009 21:54
    Microcredit can improve millions of lives. But the Indian regulators must not interfere too much, writes Abhijit Banerjee. read more
  • Nov 10, 2009 22:49
    Technology is just an enabler. Making the unique identity card project effective will require changing the rules whenever needed, report Abhijit Banerjee & Sriram Raghavan. read more
  • Nov 09, 2009 22:53
    Government programmes are open to misuse by people who run them. The unique identity card project can fix the problem if it is backed by political will, report Abhijit Banerjee and Sriram Raghavan. read more
  • Oct 14, 2009 21:52
    Here’s the paradox of West Bengal: it boasts a great pool of talent and energy, but thanks to politics and a strange lethargy, nothing happens, writes Abhijit Banerjee. read more
  • Sep 24, 2009 22:27
    The healthcare systems of the US and India are different. There is, however, one trait common to the two democracies: inequality. Abhijit Banerjee writes. read more
  • Aug 13, 2009 23:08
    One idea is that the NREGA work days would be assigned to, say, the irrigation or surface transport or agriculture ministries, so that in order to complete their projects, they would need to use NREGA labour. This would create a stake in getting work... read more