Assorted Links

1. A number of recent papers on India and China. Marginal Revolution pointsto a paper from Fogel. New Economist points to two papers one on China which focuses on rising inequality, and one on Indiawhich cites reasons for worsening public deficit.

2. Rodrik mentions about 15 commandments of economics. All are funny and true.

3. Global Financial Capitalism…??? Rodrik critiques an article written by Martin Wolf.

4.  Ajay Shah in BS writes a very good piece on India’s education system:

A lot of extremely successful people in the world have a college degree in fields like history or the liberal arts, where no tangible technical skills were learned. A lot of top CEOs frankly say that their MBA education was useless. An extensive research literature finds remarkably little impact of either elementary or higher education on GDP growth. 
 
Universities may play a role in socialisation and in screening but the education that is imparted there is much less important in the working years than is presumed to be. In other words, the Indian model of having difficult entrance examinations coupled with no teaching has its strengths, for it achieves the things that matter (screening and socialisation) while skimping on the things that matter less (learning history or economics in an undergraduate programme). 
  
If learning does not happen in universities, then where does it happen? What appears to dominate is “learning by doing”, the learning that is acquired at the workplace. People learn inside firms, and their learning is best when the firm is in a brutally competitive and globalised market. 
  
In this respect, there is something of great importance which has been going on in India from 1991 onwards. For 16 years now, we have been building a new cadre of individuals who have learned inside competitive firms with an increasing degree of globalisation. Trade barriers have come down, capital controls have eased, and a middle manager in Tata Steel today is competing in the world market for steel. Ten years of experience in Tata Steel is worth more in building top-quality staff for running a steel company than any university education that I can think of.

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