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Pramit Bhattacharya
Articles by Pramit Bhattacharya

How a popular strand of economics lost its shine

If 2008 marked the rise of behavioural economics, 2023 marks a year of reckoning. The Gino-Colada affair has blown the lid off a simmering crisis in the field

If 2008 marked the rise of behavioural economics, 2023 marks a year of reckoning. (Getty Images/iStockphoto/Representational image)
Published on Dec 11, 2023 10:00 PM IST

Getting Indian banks back on the track

India’s poorly governed banking sector remains ill-equipped to support and sustain a recovery in investments.

State Bank of India (SBI), would report a steep increase in bad loans every time its chairperson changed. (Bloomberg)
Published on Nov 27, 2023 10:11 PM IST

The welfare programme economists loved to hate

Unlike several populist schemes that disproportionately benefit rural elites, MGNREGS reaches precisely those who need the State’s help the most.

MGNREGS workers. (HT Photo/File)
Published on Nov 14, 2023 05:52 PM IST

Needed, a new contract between RBI and GOI

Recent revelations by a former central banker and a former bureaucrat have put the spotlight on the relationship between the RBI and the Union finance ministry.

RBI has enjoyed operational independence to set short-term interest rates under the new monetary policy framework. (HT FILE PHOTO)
Published on Oct 03, 2023 03:13 PM IST

Making India’s DPI model work for all

Challenges in India's DPI, such as the lack of a robust legal framework for data protection and exclusion in the Aadhaar system need to be addressed.

The adoption of the DPI model could open up new vistas of opportunities for India’s IT sector while raising the country’s profile globally.(Getty Images)
Published on Sep 20, 2023 09:29 PM IST

Laptop curbs are linked to our Swadeshi legacy

76 years after Independence, we need to have a more mature debate on the colonial legacy

The economic liberalisation of 1991 swept aside restrictions on international flows of goods, services and capital(HT Archive/HT Photo by N Thyagarajan.)
Published on Aug 22, 2023 10:37 PM IST

Economic ties bind states. Nurture them

Differences between states often get attention. But integration of the Indian market and demographic transition can be central forces for driving cooperation

The introduction of GST has diminished the fiscal powers of states,(iStockphoto)
Published on Jul 24, 2023 09:33 PM IST

The economic impact of the Indian diaspora

The diaspora's role in the development of poor countries, particularly in China and India, has reshaped views on diaspora economics.

Today, politicians of different hues — from Narendra Modi to Rahul Gandhi — strive hard to reach out to the Indian diaspora during their trips abroad.(PTI)
Published on Jul 10, 2023 09:20 PM IST

AI governance must involve labour unions

As companies adopt AI, labour and civil society groups need to have a say to boost overall economic productivity and wages

Many firms may be tempted to deploy AI-based tools to track and control employees rather than to empower them. (Thinkstock)
Published on Jun 13, 2023 10:40 AM IST

Environment may be a new federal faultline

The burden of protecting India’s environmental resources is bound to be unequal across states and regions

If farmers are to be protected against erratic rains, and slum dwellers in India’s poorly designed cities against torrid heat waves, efforts to conserve forests and other natural resources must be redoubled(HT File)
Published on May 29, 2023 08:39 PM IST

For better policymaking, pay more attention to the role of economists

The health of the economics discipline matters a great deal as the ideas of economists have a significant impact, both when they are right and wrong

Why did economists have so little influence on such momentous decisions? (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Updated on May 15, 2023 07:38 PM IST

Trade unions in the age of automation

The age of automation will give rise to new insecurities, and trade unions can regain their salience. But they must devise a new plan to recover lost ground

Labour organisations should play a key role in shaping the future of automation so that firms deploy worker-empowering rather than worker-displacing innovations (Shutterstock)
Updated on May 01, 2023 06:42 PM IST

A plan to counter China economically

The most effective response to China lies in raising India’s economic growth over the long run

As several economists have argued, India cannot expect to become a key node in global supply chains unless it opens its doors for trade (Shutterstock)
Updated on Apr 17, 2023 07:32 PM IST

Weathering the next global economic crisis

India’s macroeconomic defences remain a work in progress. The gaps in its defences could be exposed in the event of a big crisis

Over the past three years, government finances have improved. In a crisis, the government may be better placed to offer fiscal support now (Shutterstock)
Updated on Apr 03, 2023 07:07 PM IST

Fixing gender imbalance in the Indian economy

To deal with one of India’s biggest civilisational challenges, both economic and cultural instruments of change must work in tandem.

The gender imbalance in India’s formal workforce is as much a cultural challenge as an economic one (HT ARCHIVE)
Updated on Mar 06, 2023 07:19 PM IST

Adani saga exposes key regulatory chinks

The row raises questions about Sebi’s enforcement of regulations, and the restrictions on short selling in India. Both must be tackled urgently

The impact on the broader market has been limited so far, partly because of limited retail participation in Adani stocks (REUTERS)
Updated on Feb 20, 2023 06:56 PM IST

The wealth tax India should learn to use

A tax on wealth is often discussed, but has proven hard to implement the world over. Instead, India must focus on building a progressive and effective property tax system

Building an effective and progressive property tax system can reduce wealth inequality, improve urban services, and push up productivity and growth at the same time (PTI)
Updated on Jan 24, 2023 03:05 PM IST

Reimagining how the Reserve Bank functions

The central bank’s ability to support India’s growth journey will depend on how it meets four key challenges, namely risk management, consumer protection, autonomy, and accountability

Ahead of the 2008 global financial crash, RBI’s conservatism saved India from the worst of the financial crunch that paralysed the rest of the world.
Published on Jan 09, 2023 07:54 PM IST

Four challenges that await India at G20

India takes over as the president of the group in December. It must set the ball rolling to reform the G20, set new limits on economic warfare, reshape the global green agenda and prevent debt-related crises

The G20 presidency offers India an opportunity to highlight solutions to some of the world’s trickiest challenges. But the world will take such proposals seriously only if they are backed with rigorous analysis (WikiCommons)
Updated on Oct 31, 2022 07:10 PM IST

State-led industrialisation is making a comeback

Industrial Policy 2.0 is not without its risks. It could lead to cronyism, helping entrenched conglomerates set up new lines of businesses

The innocent idea that we can all depend on and prosper from unfettered and uninterrupted global supply chains finds few takers today. Globalisation is not dead yet. But the forces of de-globalisation are gaining strength, finding powerful political patrons across the world. Old Statist ideas, long discarded, are making a comeback. (Bloomberg)
Published on Oct 17, 2022 08:19 PM IST

How festivals may shape the economy

In India, the September-November festive season has a decisive impact on the economy because it drives up consumption and acts as a bellwether for the year ahead

If the festival stimulus is strong, analysts tend to be more optimistic about the year ahead. If not, sales and consumption forecasts are revised downward (SUNIL GHOSH/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Sep 19, 2022 07:18 PM IST

A political shield for inflation warriors

World over, central banks understand the need FLAto engineer a mild recession to avoid a stagflationary trap and are confident to make this step public. In India, the tradition of shooting the messenger prevents RBI from delivering this message emphatically. This needs to change

RBI should view the inflation-targeting law as a political and constitutional shield for doing its job, rather than as some kind of shaming mechanism. It should use the law to stick to its core mandate of price stability (MINT)
Updated on Sep 05, 2022 08:04 PM IST

The great divergence across South Asia

Of the four large nations in the region, India is the only one that has financial autonomy. This has been possible due to a conservative economic policy mix and diversity, and constitutional stability

Without social cohesion, inclusive growth, and institutional renewal, India’s economic autonomy will be at peril. Our exceptional history is no guarantee of our future well-being. (Shutterstock)
Updated on Aug 08, 2022 07:55 PM IST

The aftermath of the Sen-Bhagwati debate

In 2013, shortly after the rupee crisis, the two economists sparred on India’s governance priorities. Modi’s win in 2014 might have symbolised the rise of the Bhagwati model, but Sen’s ideas seem to have been more successful under this government

The push to provide more women with bank accounts and gas connections and the heavy State thrust on providing safe drinking water and improved sanitation are ringing endorsements of Sen’s ideas. (Arvind Yadav/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Jul 11, 2022 08:11 PM IST

Inflation boosts India’s love affair with gold

Apart from gold’s resistance to inflationary corrosion and stock market downturns, the currency management policy of RBI may be adding to gold’s lustre

The yellow metal’s lustre, malleability, and resistance to corrosion attracted the attention of our ancestors. (HT Photo)
Published on Jun 13, 2022 08:41 PM IST

The future of the work-from-home campaign

The debate on the future of work has brought attention to several pain points in a typical office-goer’s life. But it also raises larger questions about what it means to live and work productively.

The pandemic’s biggest contribution to our work lives has been to bestow respectability to the concept of working from home. (Bloomberg)
Updated on May 30, 2022 07:57 PM IST

RBI is fighting inflation with its hands tied

Its difficulty in balancing its role in both inflation management and debt management is rooted in India’s monetary history

Without having to worry about managing the government’s borrowing costs, RBI can focus better on its primary mandate of maintaining price and financial stability. (Mint Archives)
Published on May 16, 2022 08:29 PM IST

War, malnutrition, and India’s fiscal burden

There may be unintended consequences to the current conflict which could have far-reaching impacts on distant countries. The great power conflict in Vietnam provides an instructive example of such long-term effects.

Local residents sit in the yard of their damaged building in Mariupol. (AP)
Published on May 03, 2022 12:17 AM IST

Ambedkar, Nehru, and Atmanirbhar Bharat

The nature of the threat to India’s strategic autonomy has changed since the time of Independence but India’s strategic choices bear uncanny similarities with the past. As the Russia-Ukraine war rages, we have chosen to become non-aligned Nehruvians once again

The older Ambedkar’s economic vision had much more in common with that of Jawaharlal Nehru than Mahatma Gandhi, a critic of industrialisation and urbanisation. (PIB PHOTO)
Updated on Apr 04, 2022 08:09 PM IST

Inflation surge: Who gains and who loses

The real danger lies in unhinged inflationary expectations, which will make it very difficult for RBI to tame inflation.

If people sense that RBI is not serious about fighting inflation, it will only heighten inflationary expectations. The battle against inflation will become much more daunting in the future. RBI could end up being the biggest loser. (Reuters)
Published on Mar 21, 2022 08:37 PM IST
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