Centre for Development Economics
Department of Economics

Delhi School of Economics


Recent Histories of Indian Economic Thought: A Critical Survey


 Alex M. Thomas (Azim Premji University
(October 12, Wednesday 2022 at 3:15  PM IST)
Venue: AMEX Room

 In this paper, I survey recently published (2000 to 2020) books and articles devoted to the history of Indian economic thought. The survey is not an exhaustive one and this was done in order to ensure both breadth and depth of the coverage. In terms of breadth, I critically survey biographical histories, conceptual histories and institutional histories. More specifically, I examine the economic ideas of D. Naoroji, B. R. Ambedkar, J. C. Kumarappa, P. J. Thomas and K. Bharadwaj within biographical histories. As part of conceptual histories, the contributions of Arun Bose, Sukhamoy Chakravarty and Gautam Mathur to the development of Sraffian political economy is discussed. Subsequently, there is an elaborate discussion on the various ways through which Indian economists contributed to the understanding of development by producing concepts and highlighting specificities of the Indian context. Under institutional histories, I briefly engage with the history of professionalization of the economics discipline in pre-independent India by focusing attention on economics textbooks, associations and journals. I end by highlighting the need for critical scholarship in the history of Indian economic thought. 

All are cordially invited.

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