Uptake of systems like Amazon's `Mechanical Turk' in India

I have long been aware of Amazon’s `Mechanical Turk’, a mechanism through which tasks are farmed out to a large bank of humans. Each human worker has full flexibility on how many hours are worked and when. From the customer’s point of view, Amazon supplies an API and access to a very large pool . . . → Read More: Uptake of systems like Amazon’s `Mechanical Turk’ in India

Diluting the role of the IIT JEE

The JEE used to serve India well

Many years ago, high school education in India worked in a twin track system: There were those who studied for the IIT JEE and there was everyone else who didn’t. The former studied good books (e.g. Resnick/Halliday (which is a college level book elsewhere in the . . . → Read More: Diluting the role of the IIT JEE

Book review: Improvisational economies and a globalized building

Robert Neuwirth is bringing new insights to familiar (for him, unfamiliar for most of us) territory in his book, “Stealth of Nations“. His previous work, “Shadow Cities” was a plea to take squatter cities and informal settlements seriously, rather than dismissing them as slums. (My review of Shadow Cities is here.) His mission . . . → Read More: Book review: Improvisational economies and a globalized building

Making sense of the Mauritius tax treaty

Since the Mauritius treaty is back on the front burner, do see some sophisticated thinking on how the tax system can be made compatible with globalisation:

Page 29 (`Residence based taxation of finance’) in Indian social democracy: The resource perspective by Vijay Kelkar and Ajay Shah, February 2011. Chapter 9 of the Ministry of . . . → Read More: Making sense of the Mauritius tax treaty

Did the Indian capital controls work as a tool of macroeconomic policy?

Ila Patnaik and I wrote a paper titled Did the Indian capital controls work as a tool of macroeconomic policy?

The abstract of this paper reads: In 2010 and 2011, there has been a fresh wave of interest in capital controls. India offers an interesting setting for assessing the usefulness of capital controls. It has . . . → Read More: Did the Indian Capital Controls Work as a Tool of Macroeconomic Policy?

Globalisation: the glass is half empty

One of the many fascinating facts that you see in Economic History and Modern India: Redefining the Link by Tirthankar Roy (Journal of Economic Perspectives, Summer 2002) is about India’s trade/GDP ratio. The trade/GDP ratio rose dramatically from 1 to 2 per cent in 1800 to 20 per cent in 1914.

By 1970, the . . . → Read More: Globalisation: The Glass is Half Empty

The Ley Lines of Globalization

Six years ago, early in my tenure at Berkman, I wrote a blog post that tried to calculate the cost of shipping water from a bottling plant in Yaqara, Fiji to Cambridge, Massachusetts. I was interested in unpacking the everyday mystery of container shipping – how is it possible that we can sell a . . . → Read More: The Ley Lines of Globalization

Geniuses and Economic Development

On VoxEU, there is a fascinating article titled China and India: Those two big outliers by Jesus Felipe, Utsav Kumar and Arnelyn Abdon.

The interesting fact that they highlight is that both India and China are wise beyond their per capita GDP when it comes to the sophistication and diversification of their exports.

The . . . → Read More: Geniuses and Economic Development

Should We Welcome Globalization or Fear It?

Having just finished reading Gregg Easterbrook’s new book, ‘Sonic Boom’, I think he would say that we should welcome globalization. He sees fantastic potential for social progress, but improved living standards are likely to be ‘wrapped with ribbons of stress, anxiety and dissatisfaction (p.34). His bottom line seems to be that globalization is inevitable . . . → Read More: Should We Welcome Globalization or Fear It?

The Remarkable Century and the Future

I recently came to a rather obvious, yet remarkable insight. The 20th century was a truly unique and remarkable moment in human history. There is not a single aspect of human civilization that changed less during the 20th than in any of the centuries that came before. Population, economic output, life expectancies, oil consumption, . . . → Read More: The Remarkable Century and the Future