Monday, January 25, 2010

Another Practitioner- Rakesh Mohan's Eichengreen challenge

Monetary Policy in a Globalized Economy- A Practitioner's View

Rakesh Mohan

Ashok Mody review;
In a recent comment, Barry Eichengreen (2009) says that economists are subject to fads and trends because the penalties for departing from social norms are large. Hence, even though the tools and perspectives to question the prevailing normative view are available, the incentives to adopt them are minimal...

Rakesh Mohan sees such pragmatism as the key role of a practising economist. It is in the practice of economics that the rubber, so to speak, hits the road, the theories are tested, the validity of parameters is assessed, and the cold reality of politics is faced. He speaks of the recurring conflicts in objectives faced by policymakers. In resolving these conflicts, he questions and prods, often pushing back on views widely held by academic and other practising economists. In his practice, Mohan reports, the Eichengreen challenge was always present. But because the risk of being marginalised is high, bucking the orthodoxy requires clarity of perspective and determined persistence. Both of these are amply in view in this book, which brings the speeches Mohan delivered as deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) from the early years of this decade, along with an extensive introduction and an “after word” that reports on the ongoing global financial and economic crisis...

For students of the Indian economy who also seek a special understanding of India’s monetary and financial policies, this book will be an invaluable guide. It presents a careful and current account of developments with an analytical eye, placed in the context and language of ongoing international policy debates. For readers seeking to assess the pulse and rhythm of India’s ginger steps from the safety of domestic finance to the choppier waters of international finance, the book offers a calibrated prognosis.

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