April 18, 2019 | By Raghuram Rajan

Wait Just a Minute: Raghuram Rajan

Former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India Raghuram Rajan takes a minute to explain what bananas reveal about markets and governments, the importance of communities in economics, and whether China or India has a more enviable economy.

Wait Just a Minute: Raghuram Rajan


What do bananas teach us about markets and government?

Well, the European Union wanted to create uniform rules across the Union, and one bureaucrat there decided that amongst the rules were the curvature of bananas that were allowed, as well as the curvature of cucumbers. A rule went out that you couldn't serve bananas and cucumbers which had more than a certain degree of curvature. It seemed nonsensical, but it tells us that as markets grow, government also grows with it.

What does a healthy community look like?

There are plenty of healthy communities. Typically, there's a leadership that people believe in. There's also engagement, people look out for one another without being forced to do that. And I think across the world, whether rich or poor, you can find these communities.

Is China's or India's economy in a more enviable position?

China has the perfect administration and economy for where it has come. So, it's done wonderfully well, but it has constraints going forward, amongst which are the lack of democracy. India has the perfect economy for what is to come, but it first has to get there.

Who is the most important economist of the last 100 years?

I think it's it's really a contest between John Maynard Keynes and Joseph Schumpeter. Both very exciting economists.

About

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is an independent, nonpartisan organization that provides insight – and influences the public discourse – on critical global issues. We convene leading global voices and conduct independent research to bring clarity and offer solutions to challenges and opportunities across the globe. The Council is committed to engaging the public and raising global awareness of issues that transcend borders and transform how people, business, and governments engage the world.

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is an independent, nonpartisan organization. All statements of fact and expressions of opinion in blog posts are the sole responsibility of the individual author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Council.

Archive



| By Dasl Yoon

Deep Dish Special Edition: COVID-19 Lessons from South Korea

The Wall Street Journal’s Dasl Yoon, reporting from Seoul, joins us to explain what other countries can learn from South Korea’s innovative approaches to successfully flatten the curve of new infections – without shutting down the economy.



| By Karin Larson

A Future for the European Union After the Pandemic?

With borders now closed and countries like Italy in an increasingly restrictive nation-wide lockdown under the threat of the novel coronavirus, Europe is facing a crisis likely unparalleled since the end of World War II. This compounds an already disruptive year, following the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union, and increasingly calls into question the continued relevance of the political and economic bloc.



| By Richard C. Longworth

Midwestern Voters Aren't Ready for Revolution

The Midwest is caught in the painful shift from one economy to another, and its divided fortunes show this. It is a split between winners and losers, between well-educated city dwellers and the left behind, angry denizens of the old economy. All this has big impacts that are economic and social – and political. 





| By Xuefei Ren

‘The People’s War’ on Coronavirus in China

It is too early to conclude that the epidemic will shake the Communist Party’s grip. Once the “people’s war” has defeated the epidemic, the authoritarian regime may turn out to have become even more powerful. But this crisis has made a few things clear. It illustrates how cities are increasingly important actors in addressing pressing global challenges. It also exemplifies how central-local government relations can shape a country’s response to major epidemic outbreaks.