The Indian education system would be a good place to start with reforms, says the development economist
Jean Drèze is possibly the world’s most famous Belgian-Indian. He has lived in India since 1979, and is an Indian citizen. As a development economist and activist, he has helped draft some startlingly pro-people legislations, such as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005, and the National Food Security Act, 2013. In his most recent book, Sense and Solidarity: Jholawala Economics for Everyone (January 2018), he makes a strong case for combining economic research with public action. In a freewheeling chat, Drèze spoke about, among other things, the problems with economists, his idea of success, nationalism, and activism. Excerpts:
In general, economists are a part of the problem and not the solution. Would you agree?
Well, economics can be a very useful discipline if studied critically. But if you are not critical, then it can become toxic. If you take economic models at face value, you could end up being in a world of your own.