Abhijit Banerjee, the economist who was awarded Nobel Prize of Economics for his work on poverty alleviation and welfare has suddenly turned expert on corporate economics and everything else under the sun and is becoming a laughing stock.
Banerjee, who is on the board of West Bengal government committee for Covid-19 response, opined that India would not necessarily benefit from the companies shifting factories out of China. One does not need Economics degree to understand that if a new factory is set up in a region or a country, thousands of people would get employment and earn a living through it. This is how the countries across East Asia including China became rich.
But poverty alleviation economists like Abhijit Banerjee, who spent the majority of their time on experimenting on human beings, are unable to comprehend these simple equations, thanks to their complex thought process. In an Interview with Bengali new channel of ABP group, Banerjee said that people are blaming China for Covid-19 just because outbreak originated there.
“China is being blamed now for the coronavirus outbreak. Even people are saying that India stands to benefit as businesses will shift from China and come to India. But that may not be true,” said Banerjee in the interview.
Banerjee also gave a free pass to the state government in solving the migrant labour crisis and argued that the onus for this should lie with the centre. “It is the responsibility of the Centre as the migrant workers pass through various states to reach their homes,” said Banerjee. It is worth to mention that Abhijit’s employer, Mamata Banerjee, has completely failed in dealing with the migrant crisis and the Bengali workers across the country are facing hardship due to her inaction.
Economists like Abhijit Banerjee and Amartya Sen, who hold American Passport and visit India seasonally, does massive damage to India’s cause. They all come from a single line of economic thought which argues that- India is a poor country; it will remain a poor country in the times to come; the subcontinent would never become as rich as Europe or America, and therefore, these countries should focus on welfare rather than wealth creation.
The Nobel Prize panellists, majority of whom are Europeans or American of European ancestry with Orientalist worldview of Asian countries like India, China, confer Nobel Prizes to only welfarist Indian economists, as they also believe in the aforementioned theory of India would remain a poor country and it should focus on welfare, not wealth creation.
Banerjee is the second person of Indian descent and the third person of non-European ancestry to be conferred with the prize.
The two awardees from India were conferred prize for their contributions to poverty alleviation and welfare economics. The first being Amartya Sen who was awarded in 1998 for “contributions to welfare economics” and other is the most recent awardee, Abhijit Banerjee, who was awarded for work in the same field.
On the other hand, the majority of the individuals from Europe and America were awarded for contribution to free-market economics. While the awardees from West are ‘free market fundamentalists’ like Hayek and Friedman, Indians awarded with the prize are welfare economists.
One wonders why free-market fundamentalists from India like Jagdish Bhagwati, B R Shenoy, and even Raghuram Rajan- a free-market fundamentalist despite his anti-Modi government views- have not been awarded despite their exceptional contributions to the field of economics.