Economist @Mercatus Center @GeorgeMasonU. Fellow @nyulaw. Emergent Ventures India. Host @ideasofindia Podcast. Constitutional Economics & Public Choice. Dogs.
2 added to My Authors
Jul 22 • 13 tweets • 7 min read
I've been thinking about a subgenre of Hindi film music from '50-70 that's disappeared. The cabaret/club/dance song where the female singer raised philosophical questions.A departure from the usual cabaret/club/dance songs meant to titilate/objectify/sexualize/pine. 10-Song 🧵 👇
1. Tadbeer Se Bigdi Hui
Taqdeer Banale Taqdeer Banale
Apne Pe Bharosa Hai
Toh Yeh Daav Lagale
From Baazi (1951): composition by SD Burman with lyrics by Sahir Ludhianvi.
Geeta Bali on screen to Geeta Dutt's voice.
Jul 1 • 16 tweets • 4 min read
On 5th #GSTDay, I argue that in trying to make GST more equitable through multiple rates, GST has become more complex and less equitable because of regressive nature of compliance costs.
Here's why 👇
GST was marketed as a tax system that:
✅ Is easy to comply with as it subsumes multiple taxes into one tax
✅ Will unify the state tax system and convert India into a single free trade zone
✅ Has the potential to reduce corruption and tax evasion 2/n
Dec 31, 2021 • 34 tweets • 21 min read
2021 has been an incredible year for the @IdeasofIndia podcast @mercatus with transcripts @Discourse_Mag. Thanks to all the guests and listeners for their support and generosity. A list of the fantastic scholars and conversations below. 👇
We released 17 regular episodes and 14 short episodes with young scholars in our job market series, all made possible by the amazing team @mercatus. Our production team @Jeff_Holmes@FloerIt and Morgan Hamilton and @Discourse_Mag team David Masci and Christina Behe.
Jul 24, 2021 • 10 tweets • 5 min read
On the 30th anniversary of the budget speech that liberalized India from socialism, I am thrilled to announce The 1991 Project @mercatus.
A year long project to revive the discourse on growth-centered economic ideas to unleash the next stage of reforms.
My lead essay describing life under socialism in India, the 1991 reforms, why they matter, and the way forward in the quest for economic freedom and growth in India.
Dear American Media, I understand that poverty porn and pandemic porn are very exciting and good for ratings. But there are a lot of issues to cover in re the horror in India, especially topics that can save lives. 1/n
Most urgent: (1) Biden administration's DPA embargo on vaccine ingredients. (2) Or sending 20 million AZ and couple of million J&J vaccine stockpile to India. (3) Or helping supply ventilators to India, which is facing an acute shortage. 2/n
Apr 23, 2021 • 4 tweets • 2 min read
This is a @BDUTT appreciation tweet. Throughout the pandemic @BDUTT has been our most reliable set of eyes on the ground. Even now, when her father is in the hospital, she is telling everybody’s stories. 1/4
When we spoke earlier this week on her show, she was recording from the footpath. Literally outside a crematorium where she had just reported a story. She still managed to read our research papers and have all the details on her fingertips. And ask all the relevant questions. 2/4
Dec 23, 2020 • 5 tweets • 1 min read
This column has received a lot of response, and some of it misstates what I wrote. So I want to use this thread to once again state my position in the column.
1. I am AGAINST love jihad laws. As the column says I find them morally and constitutionally abhorrent. (1/5)
2. The progress I referred to is the increase in interfaith couples in India. THAT is the social progress, and I celebrate it. These awful laws are the backlash by a mob to social progress. 2/5
Sep 16, 2020 • 7 tweets • 4 min read
Students routinely email me asking me what they should read in public choice/constitutional political economy. I am going to post some of the classic papers in the field once or twice a week. Follow this thread. #publicchoicecanon
The first is a classic #virginiapoliticaleconomy paper: An Economic Theory of Clubs by James Buchanan. I've been thinking a lot about this paper recently and it's a critical step bridging the gap between pure private & pure public goods. #publicchoicecanondarp.lse.ac.uk/papersDB/Bucha…
The goal: diving into academic literature and bridging the gap between academic ideas and policy question.
Jul 21, 2020 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
Four points. 1. You are conflating a strong state (severe punishments) with strong state capacity (ability to execute a functional criminal justice system). I agree India has very severe punishments (also make the point in the column) but not enough capacity to enforce.
2. In fact India has brutal rules and punishments in part to compensate for lack of enforcement in criminal justice, to get the deterrent effect with lesser enforcement (also made this point in the column)
Back to the days of a closed economy and import substitution speaks economic doom for India. Self sufficiency is economic shorthand for impoverishment. 1/n
A lot of people are comparing Modi’s economics with Nehru’s socialism and closed economy model. There are two key differences. 2/n
Jun 1, 2020 • 11 tweets • 2 min read
I agree with everything Ruchir Sharma writes in this op-ed. But I still think it's only part of the lockdown story. 1/n nytimes.com/2020/05/30/opi…
Not having severe restrictions to enforce social distancing in India would have meant a rapid increase in Covid cases, and that would also hurt the poor. If India had taken that policy route, today we would be accusing the elites of taking up all the hospital resources. 2/n
States have already started dismantling some labour regulation, and my arguments on why this is a step in the right direction. 1/n news18.com/news/india/up-…
First, UP and MP have started suspending labour regulation. This should have been done decades ago, even without Covid. These laws, while well intentioned, have had terrible unintended consequence of creating a monstrous unorganized sector. 2/n
Apr 24, 2020 • 9 tweets • 3 min read
This is a helpful thread on a poorly written article in bloomberg on infecting everyone in India to get herd immunity. @mlipsitch was misquoted. And while I agree that India cannot go from the most severe lockdown to opening up completely, some issues to to keep in mind. (1/n)
.@ATabarrok and I point out in our policy brief, the average residential living space in India per household is 500 square feet, and the average per capita living space is 116.2 square feet (112.5 square feet for rural areas and 127.2 for urban areas). mercatus.org/publications/c… 2/n
Apr 14, 2020 • 5 tweets • 1 min read
On Ambedkar Jayanti, I want to share my favorite Ambedkar quote which I think is crucial to understand as an economist and student of the market process. "The Caste System is not merely a division of labour. It is also a division of labourers.“
Often the division of labour, a natural feature of the market process (or any civilized society as Ambedkar says) is conflated with the caste system and is used as a justification to propogate the caste system. This is economic illiteracy turned into propaganda.
Apr 3, 2020 • 8 tweets • 3 min read
A thread on the findings of my new working paper assessing the healthcare capacity in India for the Mercatus Center @mercatus COVID-19 series (coauthored with Abishek Choutagunta @kaapi_croissant) available here mercatus.org/publications/c… 1/n
Overall, India has a fragile system that is not equal to battling COVID-19 and India needs to use the lockdown period, and a few months after, to swiftly increase health care capacity, in the absence of which COVID-19 will be catastrophic. Three more trends detailed below. 2/n
Given the trend of COVID19 cases in India is the same as other countries like Italy and S Korea from a few weeks ago. Some thoughts on what the union and state govts in India should do immediately. 1/n
Completely stop all train travel. This may seem drastic like it taxes the poor the most but actually it will protect the poor. India’s trains are not only hotbeds for spreading the virus but will also affect so far unaffected districts and cities. 2/n