Op-Eds and Essays

Classified under the topic heads (please click): Economics - General, Development & Policy,  Political Economy, Misc, and Interviews 

Please click here for all essays organised in chronological order


Economics – General

  1. Pricing Social Returns in Economic Growth, Business Standard, October 19, 2018.

  2. Poverty and Inequality in a ‘Principles of Economics’ Textbook, (web version), Economic and Political Weekly of India,  Vol. 53, Issue No. 24, 16 Jun, 2018

  3. With Thaler’s Nobel Win, Behavioural Economics Has Officially Made Its Way Into the Mainstream, The Wire, October 13, 2017.

  4. Nobel prize in Economics 2016: The economy as a nexus of contracts. Ideas for India, October 20, 2016 (shorter version co-published in Business Standard).

  5. Angus Deaton - The Real World Economist, The Indian Express, October 16, 2015 (See longer version in the Ideas for India).

  6. What Crisis Has Taught Economics, Financial Express, New Delhi, January 9, 2010.

  7. Buying Land and Selling Kidneys, Financial Express, New Delhi, November 9 & 16, 2009.


Development & Policy

  1. Not long-term solution to poverty but useful ‘first-aid’, NYAY e-Symposium, Ideas for India, May 1, 2019.

  2. How the Congress can make the minimum income guarantee scheme a reality, in CNBCTV18.com, March 27, 2019. 

  3. Can Rahul Gandhi’s minimum income guarantee proposal work?  Ideas for India, February 7, 2019, the original version was published in NDTV.com on January 30, 2019.

  4. The Big Bank Theory - The Need to Move Beyond the Privatisation vs Nationalisation Debate, The Open Magazine, March 23, 2018.

  5. Aadhaar is fine to stop some kinds of leakage and corruption. But it is no panacea, The Economic Times, January 23, 2018.

  6. India needs to create greater economic opportunities for all, The Economic Times, October 9, 2017.

  7. Review Of Jean Dreze's Book, Jholawala Economics For Everyone, in NDTV.com, October 03, 2017. 

  8. Combating poverty in developing countries with a universal basic income, VoxDev.org, July 17, 2017 (shorter version in The Wire, July 21, 2017). 

  9. A Universal Basic Income Scheme for India? in Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), Economy Watch, April 2017, Issue 14.

  10. Is India ready for a universal basic income scheme? NDTV.com, August 27, 2016 (longer version published in Ideas for India).

  11. The price of basic income. The Indian Express, June 29, 2016

  12. 'Suit-boot' or 'Jhola'? That Debate's a Trap, in NDTV.com, July 20, 2015 (See longer version in the Ideas for India).

  13. Yes, a Land Acquisition Act Can Address Both Justice and Prosperity (with Parikshit Ghosh), The Wire, June 1, 2015.

  14. Empower, Don't Patronise the Farmer, The Indian Express, March 30, 2015 (See longer version in the Ideas for India).

  15. The Land Acquisition Ordinance (with Parikshit Ghosh), eSocialSciences.Org, February, 2015.

  16. India has more than its fair share of super-rich and it isn’t a good thing (with Debraj Ray), The Economic Times, September 4, 2014. Click here for the longer Ideas for India version. 

  17. Reforming India's Land Policy (with Parikshit Ghosh and Dilip Mookherjee), Yojana, November 2013.

  18. The Land Acquisition Bill is Deeply Flawed (with Parikshit Ghosh), Ideas for India, October 23, 2013.

  19. Developing a land acquisition policy for India, (with Dilip Mookherjee), Ideas for India, and MINT, Sep 5 2012 [press coverage in Times of India].  

  20. Land acquisition: Is there a way out? (with Parikshit Ghosh), Ideas for India, July 16, 2012 [interview in Rediff.com and press coverage in Forbes India].

  21. The Land Acquisition Bill: A Critique and a Proposal, (with Parikshit Ghosh), Economic and Political Weekly of India, October 8, 2011, Vol. XLVI, No 41.  (Click here and here for shorter versions, and here for press coverage). 

  22. Land on One’s Square Feet, Hindustan Times, New Delhi, September 21, 2011.

  23. No Way Out of this Plot, (with Sanjay Banerji), Financial Express, New Delhi, September 30, 2009.

  24. Small is Smart, Financial Express, New Delhi, August 24, 2009.

  25. Poor Man’s Capitalism. Financial Express, New Delhi, March 23, 2009.

  26. Barefoot Entrepreneurs?  Financial Express, New Delhi, January 12, 2009.

  27. Where is Credit Due?  Financial Express, New Delhi, October 27, 2008.


Political Economy

  1. Modinomics - What He Promised And What We Got, in NDTV.com, March 26, 2019. 

  2. Modi's five years prove that sustained economic growth is incompatible with toxic Hindutva politics, in Scroll.in, March 24, 2019.

  3. The Mirage of Modinomics(with Udayan Mukherjee), The India Forum, March 8, 2019.

  4. Make the debate fruitful, The Economic Times, December 6, 2018.

  5. Economic Growth under Modi and UPA I and II, in NDTV.com,  August 30, 2018

  6. Did India Grow Slower than the World when the Nehru-Gandhis were in power? in NDTV.com, March 13, 2018. 

  7. Commanding Heights Again, The Open Magazine, February 9, 2018.

  8. Budget Signals No Achhe Din For Those Looking For Jobs, in NDTV.com, February 2, 2018. 

  9. Gujarat Poll Results Cap BJP's 2014 Hangover, Start New Chapter in Indian Politics, CNN-IBN, December 27, 2017.

  10. Why So Many Economists Are Disillusioned With the ‘Gujarat Model’? (with Sanchari Roy), The Wire, November 29, 2017

  11. When Gujarat Model Fails, Bring In "Padmavati" in NDTV.com, November 24, 2017. 

  12. Gujarat’s growth rate of income stayed the same before and after Modi, The Print, November 9, 2017

  13. Gujarat model: The gleam of state’s high growth numbers hides dark reality of poverty, inequality, in Scroll.in, October 25, 2017.

  14. Modinomics has turned into Muddlenomics, in NDTV.com, September 27, 2017.

  15. Please, Let's Call A Lynching A Lynching, NDTV.com, July 5, 2017.

  16. The Rhetoric of Partisanship, The Wire, July 1, 2017.

  17. Why ‘Free’ Speech Is Not Always ‘Costless’, The Wire, June 14, 2017.

  18. IT Lay-Offs Reveal The Dangers That Lie Beneath, in NDTV.com, May 18, 2017.

  19. Behind the Struggle Against Erosion of Free Speech is a Fight Over the Rule of Law, The Wire, March 23, 2017.

  20. Demonetisation Was Bad Economics But as an Act of Vigilantism it Served Modi Well Politically, The Wire, March 13, 2017.

  21. What New Spend on MGNREGA Exposes About Notes Ban, in NDTV.com, February 1, 2017.

  22. Economists against demonetisation - Firing cannonballs to kill mosquitoes, The Tribune, December 5, 2016.

  23. Media fumbles as NOTA wins US elections with 42% evading polls, Business Standard, 16 November 2016.

  24. Notes Ban Beats Holograms as Modi's Campaign Gold, in NDTV.com, November 22, 2016.

  25. The Trump Conundrum, The Open Magazine, Web Exclusive, 2 November 2016

  26. "Mann Ki Baat" Or "Ban Ki Baat"? Government Must Back Off, NDTV.com, August 31, 2016.

  27. Brexit suggests focusing on trade and inequality may not be antithetical, The Economic Times, June 28, 2016.

  28. Congrats, Britan, you've likely voted for a recession, in NDTV.com, June 25, 2016.

  29. Fixit, Don't Brexit, in NDTV.com, June 22, 2016.

  30. No hope left? Interpreting the West Bengal election results, in NDTV.com, May 24, 2016.

  31. Spare Some Change: Mamata Hasn't Delivered Much For Benga,l in NDTV.com, April 19, 2016.

  32. Modi Government Presented A UPA 3 Budget in NDTV.com, March 3, 2016.

  33. How Brand Nitish Defeated Brand Modi, in NDTV.com, November 9, 2015.

  34. Reservation Policy in India and Its Discontents, in NDTV.com, October 11, 2015.

  35. Modi Government's Complacency Hit By Reality (with Parikshit Ghosh) in NDTV.com, August 11, 2015.

  36. Calling Farmer Suicides a 'Tragedy' Fails India in NDTV.com, May 2, 2015 (See longer version in the Ideas for India).

  37. Response to the Bhagwati-Panagariya rejoinder on MNREGA, Ideas for India, December 14, 2014 (See shorter version in The Times of India).

  38. Wrong Numbers: Attack on NREGA is Misleading, Times of India, November 9, 2014. Click here for a pdf version.

  39. From ‘Mess in India’ to ‘Made in India’ as a global brand?, The Economic Times, October 13, 2014. Click here for the longer Ideas for India version. 

  40. India needs more than Narendra Modi's trickle-down model, The Guardian, July 14, 2014.

  41. Did Gujarat Switch to a Higher Growth Trajectory Relative To India under Modi? A Rejoinder (with Sanchari Roy), Economic and Political Weekly of India, May 3, 2014. A comment on this piece.

  42. Growth in the time of UPA: Myths and Reality (with Parikshit Ghosh & Ashok Kotwal),  Economic and Political Weekly of India, April 19, 2014. (Reprinted in Economic Growth and its Distribution in India (ed.s) Pulapre Balakrishnan, Hyderabad: Orient Blackswan, 2015.)

  43. Winnowing fact from rhetoric: A look at what figures tell of UPA's regime (with Parikshit Ghosh & Ashok Kotwal), Economic Times, April 15, 2014.

  44. Did Gujarat’s Growth Rate Accelerate under Modi? (with Sanchari Roy), Economic and Political Weekly of India, April 12, 2014. See here the version with the latest year's data.

  45. Growth is Not the Victim of the UPA, it is the Other Way Round, (with Parikshit Ghosh), Hindustan Times, April 3, 2014.

  46. A Look in the Mirror (with Sanchari Roy), Outlook, March 31, 2014. Click here for a pdf version, here for version with tables, and here for the Ideas for India version

  47. Gujarat Model of Development and Other Growth Stories, (with Sanchari Roy), DNA, March 31, 2014.

  48. Modinomics: do Narendra Modi's economic claims add up?  (pdf version) (with Sanchari Roy), The Guardian, March 13, 2014.

  49. Harvard, Hard Work, and Hard Facts, Economic Times, Sunday Magazine, February 23, 2014.

  50. The Chit fund crisis: Should not put all financial intermediaries in the same bracket, (with Abhijit V. Banerjee), Ideas for India, May 3, 2013

  51. Anger in the Wake of Aila (with Sreyashi Dastidar), Financial Express, New Delhi, June 11, 2009.

  52. Beyond Nandigram: Industrialization in West Bengal (with A.V. Banerjee et al), Economic and Political Weekly of India, April 28, 2007.

  53. Strategy for Economic Reform in West Bengal (with A.V. Banerjee et al), Economic and Political Weekly of India, October 12, 2002.

  54. In an Imperfect World (with Sugata Marjit), The Telegraph, Calcutta, June 29, 2002.

  55. Bengal’s Economic Survival (with A.V. Banerjee et al), The Telegraph, Calcutta, May 13, 2001.

  56. Big Boom Theory (with Parikshit Ghosh), The Telegraph, Calcutta, June 4, 1999. 



  1. On Shaky Ground, Interview as part of cover story on India's growth slowdown in India Today (pdf version), October 19, 2018.

  2. Interview in the LSE Annual Economics Review 2017-18, September 2018.

  3. At the moment, the GDP growth is at a four-year low, Interview in The National Herald, September 17, 2018.

  4. Show Me the Black Money, interview in cover story on demonetisation in India Today (pdf version), September 08, 2018.

  5. Stormy Times but Stay Optimistic: An Interview with Suman Ghosh, in The Telegraph, September 03, 2018.

  6. Ceteris Paribus, Interview at The Economie, Netherlands, September 22, 2014. 

  7. Interview as Editor of Journal of Development Economics with the Development Impact blog, June 5, 2012.



  1. My Most Unforgettable Teacher, (pdf version) Reader's Digest, India, September 17, 2017.

  2. `Meghnad Badh Rahasya’ Evokes Memories of a Movement That Continues to Haunt Bengal’s Imagination, (with Manishita Dass), The Wire, September 5, 2017.

  3. Circles in Time - Memories of Presidency College, Autumn Annual, 2016-17, Vol. XLV, Presidency Alumni Association, Calcutta, January 2017.





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Last modified:  January 2018
©2018 Maitreesh Ghatak, all rights reserved.