Did you know that economics studies how people use scarce resources to satisfy their desires? It's a fascinating topic and one that has a significant impact on all of our lives. But have you ever wondered how the current world financial system came to be? Who are the people responsible for shaping the modern economy?
If you think about it clearly, then there isn't a single concept that popped up suddenly and was applied worldwide. Everything has a history, every concept has a father, and knowing about them is real wisdom. Indeed we were introduced to a few names in the university, but that wasn't enough exposure. It is always good to know more about the people who have impacted the world significantly and given a new dimension to society, don't you think?
If you aspire to be the next big name in economics or are just curious about the people who have made a difference, then this article is for you. That's not it; the article will also share different aspects of economics, like its scope in the future and more. So, read the whole article till the end without skipping a single name. We are pretty sure that you will find it very fascinating.
The Most Influential Economists Who Formed the Scope of Economics
History proves that some of the best minds have graced the field of economics. From Karl Marx to Adam Smith, each has left a significant mark on the world with their economics theories and discoveries.
India has also been blessed with many great economists. People who have not only made a name for themselves but have also helped put India on the global map. Here, we are going to talk about the ten most famous Indian economists who have made a significant contribution to pushing economics to new and greater heights.
Born in Bengal in 1933, Amartya Sen is a world-renowned economist and philosopher. He is best known for his welfare economics work and capability approach. He has also significantly contributed to social choice theory, economic and social justice, and development economics.
Sen completed his bachelor's (BA) from the University of Calcutta and later went to Trinity College, Cambridge. Amartya did his master's and doctorate at Trinity College, and further, between 1960-61, he worked as visiting professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the USA.
Furthermore, based on his impeccable work on welfare economics, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1998. He was also bestowed India's Highest Civilian Award, the Bharat Ratna, in 1999. Currently, he is the Thomas W. Lamont University Professor and also teaches at Harvard University. Prior to Sen's present position, he served as Master of Trinity College at the University of Cambridge, USA.
Ardeshir Darabshaw Shoff
Ardeshir was a distinguished industrialist, banker, and economist in India. Shroff served as an informal delegate (because India was not yet independent) at the United Nations "Bretton Woods Conference" on post-war monetary and financial systems in 1944.
In 1944, Shroff also co-authored the Bombay Plan, a set of proposals for India's post-independence economy, with seven other prominent industrialists. In the 1950s, Shroff served as the Investment Corporation of India's founder-director and company chairman of Bank of India and New India Assurance Company Limited.
Bibek Debroy is an accomplished Indian economist and author. He has contributed to game theory, economic theory, income and social inequalities, poverty, law reforms, railway reforms and Indology.
Debroy's early education took place at Narendrapur Ramakrishna Mission School before moving to Kolkata Presidency College and Delhi School of Economics. Eventually, Debroy studied at the University of Cambridge, thanks to a Trinity College scholarship.
Currently, Debroy is serving as the Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM). He was a member of NITI Aayog from its inception in January 2015 till June 2019. In 2015, he received the Padma Shri award (India's fourth highest civilian honour). Additionally, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by USA-India Business Summit in 2016.
Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee is an American economist. His field of work, Development economics and Social economics, focuses on issues of poverty and inequality. Abhijeet is the Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at MIT. Banerjee also co-founded the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab with Esther Duflo, also an economist, and Sendhil Mullainathan, a computer scientist.
Banerjee studied at Presidency College, Kolkata and later Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India. Afterwards, he went on to study at Harvard University, where he received his PhD in 1988. He has earlier worked as a Professor of Economics at Princeton University and as visiting professor at Harvard University.
Avinash Kamalakar Dixit was born in Mumbai and is an Indian-American economist. He completed his bachelor's from the University of Mumbai but later went to the University of Cambridge and enrolled in BA again. Further, he completed his doctorate from MIT.
He taught at Princeton University as the John J. F. Sherrerd '52 University Professor of Economics Emeritus. Dixit was also a Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Economics at Lingnan University in Hong Kong.
Some of his selected publications that made a worldwide impact are -
- The Theory of Equilibrium Growth, published by Oxford University Press.
- Theory of International Trade, with Victor Norman published by Cambridge University Press.
- Optimization in Economic Theory, 2nd edition published by Oxford.
Jagdish Natwarlal Bhagwati is an Indian-American economist. Jagdish is credited as the intellectual architect of India's economic changes of 1991. While he gained international popularity as well and became the only professor in American academia to have a chair named after him.
He was the University Professor of Economics and Law at Columbia University and a senior fellow in International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations. He has made significant intellectual contributions to international trade theory and economic development.
He wrote some very famous books on economics, and some of the notable ones are -
- Why Growth Matters: How Economic Growth in India Reduced Poverty and the Lessons for Other Developing Countries
- India's Tryst with Destiny: Debunking the Myths that Undermine Progress and Addressing New Challenges
- Free Trade Today
Indraprasad Gordhanbhai Patel
- G. Patel was an economist and civil servant from India who served as the fourteenth Governor of the Reserve Bank of India from December 1, 1977, to September 15, 1982. Patel is well known as the first Indian Director of the London School of Economics, who headed a higher education institute in the United Kingdom.
Patel also worked as Deputy Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme from 1972-77. In addition, he is well-known for his impressive intellectual abilities in the company of other central bankers and economic statesmen, such as the "Committee of Thirty" established by former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt. Patel also served as Chairperson of the Board of Governors at the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad from 1996 to 2001.
J C Kumarappa
Joseph Chelladurai Cornelius, an Indian economist closely associated with Mahatma Gandhi, developed economic theories tributary to Gandhian economics. Kumarappa pioneered rural economic development theories and is credited for his work in this field.
Kumarappa sought to integrate Christian and Gandhian concepts of "trusteeship," non-violence, and a focus on human dignity and development as the foundation for his economic ideas rather than materialism. While rejecting socialism's emphasis on class struggle and force in implementation, he also dismissed the prioritization of material progress, competitiveness, and efficiency in laissez-faire economics.
Kaushik Basu, Carl Marks Professor of International Studies and Professor of Economics at Cornell University, is an Indian economist who served as Chief Economist of the World Bank from 2012 to 2016.
In June 2017, he began a three-year term as President of the International Economic Association. Before that, during the second term of India's United Progressive Alliance government (2009-2012), Basu was Chief Economic Adviser to the Government of India.
Some of his famous books in the economics department are as follows -
- Revealed preference of government
- The Less Developed Economy: A Critique of Contemporary Theory
- Economic Graffiti: Essays for Everyone
- Lectures in Industrial Organization Theory
The most famous economist and politician, who served as the Prime Minister of India from 2004 to 2014, is a recipient of the Bharat Ratna. He is also credited as the architect of the 1991 Indian economic reforms. He understood the Indian economic situation and its potential very well and is known for pulling India out of the economic collapse.
Furthermore, during the 1960s and 1970s, Singh worked for the United Nations. He then went on to work in government, beginning his bureaucratic career when Lalit Narayan Mishra hired him as an economics consultant for the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. During the 1970s and 1980s, Singh served in several key roles in India's Government, including as Chief Economic Advisor (1972–1976), Reserve Bank governor (1982–1985) and Planning Commission head (1985–1987).
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