Kaushik Basu

C. Marks Professor of International Studies and Professor of Economics

Kaushik Basu is Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, World Bank. He is on leave from Cornell University where he is Professor of Economics and the C. Marks Professor of International Studies. From December 2009 to July 2012 he served as the Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) to the Government of India at the Ministry of Finance. Till 2009 he was Chairman of the Department of Economics and during 2006-9 he was Director of the Center for Analytic Economics at Cornell.


  • Economic development;
  • economic theory;
  • industrial organization;
  • political economy

Current Research Interests

Political economy; knowledge and rationality; labor markets in developing economies

Selected Publications & Presentations

  • “Child Labor: Cause, Consequence and Cure with Remarks on International Labor Standards.” Journal of Economic Literature, September 1999.
  • Analytical Development Economics: The Less Developed Economy Revisited. M.I.T. Press, 1998.
  • (With C. Bell and P. Bose) “Interlinkage, Limited Liability, and Strategic Interaction.” Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, June 1998.
  • “On Misunderstanding Government: An Analysis of the Art of Policy Advice.” Economics and Politics, 1997.
  • “Group Rationality, Utilitarianism and Escher’s Waterfall.” Games and Economic Behavior, 1994.
  • Lectures in Industrial Organization Theory. Basil Blackwell, 1993.
  • (With S. Bhattacharya and A. Mishra) “Notes on Bribery and the Control of Corruption.” Journal of Public Economics, 1992.
  • (With C. Bell) “Fragmented Duopoly: Theory and Applications to Backward Agriculture.” Journal of Development Economics, 1991.
  • The Less Developed Economy: A Critique of Contemporary Theory (second reprint). Oxford University Press, 1990.
  • “On the Nonexistence of a Rationality Definition for Extensive Games.” International Journal of Game Theory, 1990.
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“Actors do not behave or decide as atoms outside a social context ... Their attempts at purposive action are instead embedded in concrete, ongoing systems of social relations.”— Mark Granovetter