Over the past few decades, India has witnessed a paradoxical trend: even as real incomes have grown, average calorie intake has declined. UMass Amherst Economics Professor Deepankar Basu and co-author Amit Basole ’12 PhD, investigate this phenomenon using a panel data set for 28 Indian states running over the period 1993-2009 in their paper, The Calorie Consumption Puzzle in India: An Empirical Investigation. Results show that a food budget squeeze (rapidly increasing expenditure of non-food essential items like education, transportation, and healthcare that leaves less for food) and declining home grown food consumption can explain the puzzle. The authors do not find evidence for strong effects of diet diversification or declining calorie needs. Their research has been cited in Bloomberg BusinessWeek (10/22/12) and the Times of India (10/27/12).
Many UMass Amherst Economics Department faculty and graduate students have participated in the “Occupy” protests that started on Wall Street and have spread internationally. Occupy protests have been held locally in Amherst, Boston and Northampton.
On Oct. 19 UMass Amherst economics professors Gerald Friedman, David Kotz, and Stephen Resnick joined colleagues Dean Robinson and Jillian Schwedler (political science), Max Page (art), and Millicent Thayer (sociology) for the first Occupy UMass Teach-In held in the Cape Cod Lounge on the UMass Amherst campus. (The Daily Collegian, 10/20/11)
Nancy Folbre, UMass Amherst economics professor, writes in the Economix blog about the Occupy Wall Street movement and what it may mean for the debate about wealth distribution in the U.S. She says visiting the protestors in New York City showed her that they weren’t proposing class warfare, but were instead expressing class rage. (New York Times, 10/17/11
Graduate student Mark Paul is profiled in a story about local residents who are taking part in the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations in New York City. (Gazette, 10/11/11)
A group of UMass Amherst students held a rally outside the Student Union on Oct. 12 calling for economic justice as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Speakers at the rally included UMass Amherst economics professors Deepankar Basu and David Kotz. (Republican, 10/13/11)
UMass Amherst graduate students, including Anastasia Wilson (shown in photo), participate in the Occupy Amherst protest on the Town Common. A video of the event highlights their message. (Republican, 10/5/11)
As the recovery in the United States economy continues to fail in improving the employment scene, discussion on the link between aggregate demand and employment has become interesting and urgent. Deepankar Basu, assistant professor of economics at UMass Amherst, is the co-author of a paper on this topic. Basu and his co-author, Duncan Foley, find a weakening relationship between output growth and employment.
As we document in this paper, the close relationship between output growth as measured by real GDP and employment generation that characterized the U.S. economy over the two decades after World War II has been weakening since the mid 1980s. This has led both to “jobless recoveries” in which aggregate unemployment has decreased less during the upturn phase of business cycles than what would have been predicted on the basis of the past association between output growth and unemployment changes, and also to “outputless crashes” in which the aggregate unemployment rate has increased by more during the downturn phase of the business cycle than past experience would have predicted.
Download Dynamics of Output and Employment in the U.S. Economy by Deepankar Basu & Duncan K. Foley
Media coverage of this paper:
New York Times Economix blog post on the evolving job story in the U.S. by Nancy Folbre refers to the paper:
Financial Times blog entry by Gavyn Davies refers to the paper (affiliations listed incorrectly as Amherst College):
The Lookout on Yahoo! News used the paper to do a story on the employment scenario in the U.S.:
Nancy Folbre, UMass Amherst economics professor, writes in the Economix blog about how large numbers of unemployed workers in the U.S. may be left behind because the close relationships between economic recovery, job creation and increased profits are being frayed by globalization. Folbre cites a paper co-authored by Deepankar Basu, assistant professor of economics at UMass Amherst. Basu and his co-author found that there is a weakening correlation between output growth and employment growth in the United States. This means that even as the economy grows, employment has not risen as much as the models predicted. Folbre’s blog also notes that the unemployed, in addition to not being needed by business, become increasingly viewed as a drag on society because they spend less and depend on unemployment benefits. (New York Times, 5/2/11)
Macroeconomic models of these relationships based on historical data are increasingly obsolete. As Deepankar Basu and Duncan Foley argued in a recent Political Economy Research Institute paper, the correlation between output growth and employment growth in the United States has declined in recent years.
Foreign-owned businesses may locate in the United States, helping compensate for declining investment by American multinationals. But as all businesses become more footloose, they have less incentive to support public spending on education, health, human services or social safety nets, including unemployment insurance.
Unneeded as workers, the unemployed also become superfluous as consumers and burdensome as citizens.
Super sad no-love story. Wish it weren’t true.
Deepankar Basu, UMass Amherst economics professor, wrote an article for ZNet in which he details the causes of the European debt crisis and outlines two different paths for recovery. According to Basu, the two underlying causes include peculiarities of Germany’s growth process in the 2000s and the loss of policy options for countries that are part of European Monetary Union (EMU). Basu outlines two different paths for recovery without dismantling the union. The first option, favoured by European elites, is to advance emergency loans to Greece, and if necessary to the other countries too, and enforce Structural Adjustment Program (SAP)-type conditionalities (so-called “austerity” measures). The second option, and the one that should be favored by the working class, is to is to work out a sensible debt-restructuring program with bondholders and force the German economy to reflate. (ZNet, 5/23/10)
The Independent People’s Tribunal (IPT) on Land Acquisition, Resource Grab, and Operation Green Hunt was held recently in New Delhi. The tribunal brought grassroots voices from different parts of the country protesting against neoliberal economic policies and corporate resource grab. In his article, “The Independent People’s Tribunal Reveals the Underbelly of Indian ‘Development'” Deepankar Basu, UMass Amherst economics professor, gives context to the three-day event by detailing the current political and economic climate in India. For example, the combined net worth of the richest 100 Indians in 2009 was US$ 276 billion, yet, as of 2004-2005, roughly 80 percent of Indian households did not have access to safe drinking water. Additionally, the resource grab that is underway has already displaced upwards of 300,000 indigenous people. (MR Zine, 4/17/10 and ZNet, 4/20/10)
The Independent People’s Tribunal Reveals the Underbelly of Indian “Development”
by Deepankar Basu
April 17, 2010
Running for three days, from April 9 to April 11, the IPT heard accounts of diverse grassroots activists from the states of Chhattisgarh, Orissa, West Bengal, and Jharkhand, the theater of an insidious war — nicknamed Operation Green Hunt (OGH) — that the Indian State has launched against its own people. Supplementing activist accounts and testimonies of witnesses with critical insights and advice of social scientists, journalists, legal experts, former government functionaries, and human rights activists, the people’s jury of the IPT made its opinion known through its interim observations and recommendations, the most urgent of which was to stop OGH and initiate a process of dialogue with the local population in the affected areas.1 Other recommendations included: immediately stopping all compulsory acquisition of agricultural or forest land and the forced displacement of the tribal people; making the details of all the memorandum of understanding (MOUs) signed for mining, mineral, and power projects known to the public; stop victimizing and harassing dissenters of the government’s policies; withdraw all paramilitary and police forces from schools and hospitals; constitute an Empowered Citizen’s Commission to investigate and recommend action against persons responsible for human rights violations of the tribal communities.2
UMass Amherst economics professor Deepankar Basu presented his on-going research (with Amit Basole) on the relations of production, modes of surplus extraction and the evolving class structure in India at the 2010 Historical Materialism Conference in NYC which was held in January.
Google Alerts today highlights the public impact of research by two UMass Economists:
“Questions about Same-Sex Marriage” on the GayBoomers (news for the middleaged queer and more) blog. A working paper by Deepankar Basu, the newest addition to the UMass Economics Department, provides an “Analysis of Classes in India: A Preliminary Note on the Industrial Bourgeoisie and Middle Class.” An excerpt appears on the influential blog Sanhati: Fighting Neoliberalism in Bengal and Beyond. The paper also earns favorable mention on the Epoliticus blog.Papers by UMass Economist Lee Badgett with law faculty co-authors R. Bradley Sears (UCLA) and Suzanne Goldberg (Rutgers) form the basis of the answers to