A Conversation with Jagdish Bhagwati on Indian Politics, Globalization, Socialism, Entrepreneurship, and African Aid


This reports an informal discussion with Professor Jagdish Bhagwati of Columbia University, one of the greatest economists of our time. It was held at 2PM on August 10 at 113 West 60th St, New York, NY, the Lincoln Center campus of Fordham University. At the suggestion of Professor Kulkarni, the editor of the Indian Journal of Economics and Business, we kept an audio and video record for easy reference. I have indicated the topics of our conversation in the form of section headings for the convenience of the reader. Although not explicitly indicated for brevity, we were having a lot of laughs during this informal discussion. The following report tries to be close to the conversation with scattered editorial changes for clarification. As the reader can see, we covered a wide range of controversial topics. Professor Bhagwati did not have access to any books or notes during our discussion. Readers interested in his numerous fully reasoned, thought-provoking views are invited to read his extensive publications. This report is intended to give the reader informal window into the mind of this great economist, without the usual scholarly burdens of checking all references, dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s. Accordingly, I am responsible for any errors or omissions and not Professor Bhagwati. I trust the reader will agree with me that this informal format allows us to get to the main point rather quickly. I am grateful to my student Ms. Meghan M. Hennessy for carefully transcribing the interview tapes, despite obvious problems with our accents. We both underestimated the amount of work involved in this task. I do not know how to give proper credit to Meghan for her work. 

H. D. Vinod
Subject Area: 
Published in: Indian Journal of Economics and Business


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