I just could not help myself from not posting this. Just saw KBC 6th edition (Kaun BAnega Crorepati) and was always damn good (a tad too lomg though today). As always KBC provides me fodder to write (see KBC-5 and prospect theory, Economics of KBC choices…)
The last participant on today’s show (7-Sep-12) was asked: Which of these palaces was built to provide employment during famine?
The correct answer was Umaid Bhavan Palace at Jodhpur. The contestant said Amer Palace at Jaipur and lost.
I was amazed to note this. Amitabh Bachchan added that the construction work started in 1929 because of the famine. This was just when Great Depression started! So the world economy got a shock in 1929 and Jodhpur had its own famine shock.
It seems even before Keynes wrote his General Theory which released in 1936, the Maharaja (king) of Jodhpur was using Keynesian policies to stimulate demand in his local economy. By employing people during famine, he provided them with both jobs and income (and eben food as Mr Bachchan said). And meanwhile also got his palace built. So it seems unlike the bridges that lead to nowhere following Keynesian policies, there was more useful construction work (actually should leave that to historians to say whether good use or not).
And the palace took good 15 years to build. Fairly long time..
Now most might say that the king must have forced the people to start and continue work. It must have not been by willingness to work etc.. So not sure..
An excellent natural experiment this on figuring whether the Keynesian approach worked in Jodhpur or not.
Hope to get more insights on economics etc during this edition of KBC..