Reconsidering the Idea of Pigou Wealth Tax in the Time of Covid-19

By Kavaljit Singh | Briefing Paper # 40 | July 30, 2020

Arthur Cecil Pigou (1877-1959), a British economist, is well known for his contributions to welfare economics. One of the most prolific writers of his time, Pigou wrote over a dozen books and more than 100 articles and pamphlets dealing with both theoretical and practical aspects of welfare economics. His writings cover a wide range of human welfare issues from unemployment to housing to taxation.

Some of his most famous books include Wealth and Welfare (1912), The Economics of Welfare (1920), A Capital Levy and a Levy on War Wealth (1920),…

India’s Economic Dependence on China: Some Explanations

By Biswajit Dhar and K.S. Chalapati Rao | Briefing Paper # 39 | July 3, 2020

Since May 2020, India and China have had the worst face-off in decades on the line of actual control in India’s far North, which was yet another stark reminder that the two most populous nations have an extremely fragile relationship. But when the 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives in the ensuing clashes with China’s People’s Liberation Army, the fault lines of India’s economic relationship with its northern neighbour became wide open. Passions are justifiably running high in India, leading to the demands for boycotting Chinese products and investments…

Azevedo’s Resignation Amid Growing Irrelevance of WTO

By Biswajit Dhar | Briefing Paper # 38 | May 25, 2020

The decision of the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Roberto Azevedo, to demit office a year before the expiration of his second term, confirms the long-held view that the multilateral trading system is facing an existential crisis. This rules-based trading system was established by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) to create an open and a non-discriminatory trading system in order to raise standards of living, ensure full employment and support steadily growing volume of real income and effective demand.

However, there have been unmistakable signs…

It’s Time for a Solidarity Tax

By Kavaljit Singh | Briefing Paper # 37 | May 15, 2020

Last month, Peru’s President Martin Vizcarra proposed a Solidarity Tax to mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The proposed solidarity tax would be temporarily imposed on wealthy and super-rich Peruvians earning more than US$3,000 a month. The tax authorities are expected to raise 300 million soles (US$88 million) per month in additional revenue from the solidarity tax.

Targeted at the wealthier sections of society whose livelihoods have been less disrupted by government-enforced lockdown restrictions, the proposed solidarity tax is inspired by the principle of solidarity. “It important for…

COVID-19: A Triple Whammy for Emerging Market and Developing Economies

By Kavaljit Singh | Briefing Paper # 36 | April 23, 2020

Even though the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the US and European Union has captured the world’s attention, one should not lose sight of the pandemic and its associated health, economic and financial stability challenges in the rest of the world. As the COVID-19 pandemic advances globally, Africa and South Asia are witnessing a surge in the number of new cases lately, and these regions could soon become its next epicenters in the coming weeks. The emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs) are facing a…