Ajit Mishra and Tridip Ray (eds): Markets, governance, and institutions in the process of economic development
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About 40 years ago, when I was a bemused Ph.D. student at the Indian Statistical Institute in New Delhi, we learnt one day that a young Indian economist who had just returned from abroad would soon give us a few lectures on development economics. He was described to us as a rising star, and we also discovered that he was a great teacher. More importantly, he was really nice and even invited us home for dinner on one occasion. His name was Kaushik Basu.
I remember little of what Kaushik taught us, but I do remember one statement of his, about the social value of economic theory. It was something to the effect that he did economic theory for its own sake, without any illusion that it helped to improve the world we live in. I have a feeling that Kaushik has changed his mind on this. He still has a passion for economic theory, including puzzles and paradoxes that are of little practical consequence. But he also ended up dabbling quite a bit in economic policy, and even holding positions...
- Drèze, J. (2018). Evidence, policy and politics. Social Science and Medicine, 210, 45–47 (also available at http://ideasforindia.in ).