Incentives in Civil Service Reform (ENGLISH)

September 7, 2017

Asim Khwaja is one of our bright young economists now a Professor in Harvard and engaged in some great research on Pakistan.

Asim has for the last 8 years been involved with civil the revenue service in Pakistan conducting randomized control trials to see if incentive could be used in the context a wider civil service reform to produce a more performance oriented civil service.

Here we discuss the results and methodology of his research that has appeared in the QJE and other good journals. We also discussed ho these results should be used in policy as well as how policy is made and the use of research in policy. We also discuss wider issues of civil service reform and governance in Pakistan.

A great discussion on many levels and much to learn from.

Listen to this and let us reinvigorate research and debate into change. 

Listen to this fascinating discussion. There is much to learn and research here. 

You can also look at my book “Looking Back: How Pakistan Became an Asian Tiger in 2050” now available in hard copy in Pakistan. Soft copy here. https://www.amazon.com/Looking-Back-Pakistan-Became-Asian-ebook/dp/B06X94135J/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1488133596&sr=1-1&keywords=nadeem+haque

Listen and learn and write some papers on this subject.  Don’t forget to cite Soch Bichar

Please subscribe to Soch Bichar if you like it. Tell you friends about it. That is the only way to grow a public discussion. And we need a wider conversation on these important subjects.

 

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Critiques of the standard economic model (ENGLISH)

August 30, 2017

Prof Steve Keen is a profound critic of Neoclassical economics and the author of “Debunking Economics” and several papers and courses on reframing macroeconomics. He is also ranked the 18th most influentail economist today. https://richtopia.com/inspirational-people/top-100-economists

He is a strong proponent of the Minsky model and has operationalized it for policy and real-time tracking. His new book, “Can we avoid another Financial crisis” is a great read, very well researched and forcefully argued.

In this podcast, we discussed

  • his critique of the standard economic model
  • how he saw the global crisis of 2008,
  • the Minsky model, and
  • How he sees the possibility of further crises

Many Pakistanis are very suspicious of neoclassical economics and yes there is good reason to be. Indeed, critical thinking requires that we examine critiques and not swallow any one theory as dogma.

I am very grateful to professor Keen for giving us an education in good economics that is different from what most of us are taught in class. 

So enjoy and think about how you can develop build your own research on development or on Pakistan using Steve’s work.

Listen to this and let us reinvigorate research and debate into change. 

Listen to this fascinating discussion. There is much to learn and research here. 

You can also look at my book “Looking Back: How Pakistan Became an Asian Tiger in 2050” now available in hard copy in Pakistan. Soft copy here. https://www.amazon.com/Looking-Back-Pakistan-Became-Asian-ebook/dp/B06X94135J/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1488133596&sr=1-1&keywords=nadeem+haque

Listen and learn and write some papers on this subject.  Don’t forget to cite Soch Bichar

Please subscribe to Soch Bichar if you like it. Tell you friends about it. That is the only way to grow a public discussion. And we need a wider conversation on these important subjects.

 

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On higher education (URDU)

August 24, 2017

We return to the subject of higher education and we will keep returning to it given its importance to the economy and welfare of Pakistan.

Here we talk to Mr. Wasif Rizvi the founding president of Habib University.  Mr Rizvi, a Harvard graduate has been associated with education in many parts of the world including Pakistan.

I enjoyed our discussion which gave me several new ideas about how to think about developing higher education in a country like Pakistan. 

He has a holistic concept of education centered around students which could be truly transformative.

I agree with him that education while providing skills must most importantly instill humanity and human civilization. 

I hope HEC and educationists will listen. Much to learn here as in all our education podcasts.

Listen to his book recommendation at the end of the podcast. Very good book. All should read.

Listen to his advice to students and journalists on how to think about education.

Listen to this and let us reinvigorate research and debate into change. 

Listen to this fascinating discussion. There is much to learn and research here. 

You can also look at my book “Looking Back: How Pakistan Became an Asian Tiger in 2050” now available in hard copy in Pakistan. Soft copy here. https://www.amazon.com/Looking-Back-Pakistan-Became-Asian-ebook/dp/B06X94135J/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1488133596&sr=1-1&keywords=nadeem+haque

Listen and learn and write some papers on this subject.  Don’t forget to cite Soch Bichar

Please subscribe to Soch Bichar if you like it. Tell you friends about it. That is the only way to grow a public discussion. And we need a wider conversation on these important subjects.

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Reviewing growth in Pakistan (URDU)

August 17, 2017

Some episodes are worth repeating for those who have not heard them. This was played in earlier dys when few knew of SOCH BICHAR. so here it is again. 

Pakistan economy grows in spurts. Pakistan has a young population is that needs employment.  

"Given the youth bulge that Paksitan is going through till 2050, the economy needs to at a sustained rate of 8% per annum for the next 30 years" Framework of Economic Growth of the Plannign Commission 2011.

Questions discussed are:

What can we learn from the growth experience of the world?

The importance of the software of growth--institutions and what institutions are?
what is the the geography of growth
The preoccupation fo our rulers with "hardware"--projects and aid.

Anjum and Nadeem Discuss many aspects of growth policy and literature while also discussing why Paksitan does not attained the required sustained growth. 

An important subject to which we will return again and again. 

Listen to this and let us reinvigorate research and debate into change. 

Listen to this fascinating discussion. There is much to learn and research here. 

You can also look at my book “Looking Back: How Pakistan Became an Asian Tiger in 2050” now available in hard copy in Pakistan. Soft copy here. https://www.amazon.com/Looking-Back-Pakistan-Became-Asian-ebook/dp/B06X94135J/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1488133596&sr=1-1&keywords=nadeem+haque

Listen and learn and write some papers on this subject.  Don’t forget to cite Soch Bichar

Please subscribe to Soch Bichar if you like it. Tell you friends about it. That is the only way to grow a public discussion. And we need a wider conversation on these important subjects.

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Rethinking Education 2: Using technology to leapfrog (ENGLISH)

August 3, 2017

Pakistan has many excellent intellectuals, professionals and entrepreneurs in our diaspora. Mahboob Mahmood is one of them. A lawyer from Harvard and Princeton; a man who worked with Obama, an entrepreneur, a writer and a man passionately interested in education.

His firm “Knowledge Platform” http://www.knowledgeplatform.com is providing web-based education to 6 countries including China. He has spent a lot of time and effort trying to help Pakistani kids educated through technology. 

Today we talk about education again—we have done it 4 times before. But we will return to it again and again since it is such an important subject. 

We discuss many aspects of education especially the role of technology in education and especially the need to change the education paradigm in Pakistan.

Listen to this fascinating discussion. There is much to learn and research here. 

You can also look at my book “Looking Back: How Pakistan Became an Asian Tiger in 2050” now available in hard copy in Pakistan. Soft copy here. https://www.amazon.com/Looking-Back-Pakistan-Became-Asian-ebook/dp/B06X94135J/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1488133596&sr=1-1&keywords=nadeem+haque

Listen and learn and write some papers on this subject.  Don’t forget to cite Soch Bichar

Please subscribe to Soch Bichar if you like it. Tell you friends about it. That is the only way to grow a public discussion. And we need a wider conversation on these important subjects.

 

 

 

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Informal Economy (English)

July 22, 2017

This Epsiode dedicated to A. R Kemal

The informal economy enters every discussion on Pakistan but there is little understanding of it.

Ali Kemal, well-known economist from PIDE who has done a lot of reserch on the subject, clarifies for us the concepts and tells us what the size of the informal economy is

at this occasion we sdhould all remember A. R Kemal, Ali's father who pioneered reserch into the informal economy in Pakistan.

Listen and learn and write some papers on this subject.  Don’t forget to cite Soch Bichar

Please subscribe to Soch BIchar if you like it. Tell you friends about it. That is the only way to grow a public discussion. And we need a wider conversation on these important subjects.

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Understanding Public Transport URDU)

July 18, 2017

In Pakistan it seems as if Public transport is an expensive bus systems on stilts—platformed roads that divide the city.

We learn here from Mohamed Rizwan, a transport engineer involved in designing transport systems in the UAE, that there is more than one mode of mobility in the city.

He tells how they think of transport in the UAE. And we all know how advanced UAE is in terms of thinking of transport.

Learn from this how important it is to think of mobility for all in a cohesive city rather than just cars and buses as our planners do.

I wonder why no one treats this topic as subject of research in Pakistan. It is well worth writing some papers on. 

Listen and learn and write some papers on this subject.  Don’t forget to cite Soch Bichar

Please subscribe to Soch BIchar if you like it. Tell you friends about it. That is the only way to grow a public discussion. And we need a wider conversation on these important subjects.

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Configuring the Energy system (ENGLISH)

July 12, 2017

Energy system is plagued with leakages while the government continues to build more and bigger power plants. Even though the price of oil has gone down by about $100 from its peak in 2007-8, the circular debt continues to plague us while load-shedding remains intact.

Last episode I talked about how the power system needs to be reconfigured. 

Here I go into detail because I thought some things need explaining.

We have a haemorrhaging patient and we are relying on more and more blood transfusions and not fixing the haemorrhage.

My contention here is we need to operate on the system and fix.

Listen to it and see if you agree. And remember without discussion ideas die.

REMEMBER TO SUBSCRIBE TO SOCH BICHAR.

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Energy Shortages–the causes (ENGLISH)

July 10, 2017

Australian radio interviewed me on the power situation in Pakistan after reading my article on Project Syndicate

https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/pakistan-energy-crisis-reform-by-nadeem-ul-haque-2017-06

I think the discussion would be interesting to all who want to understand the root causes of the energy problem and how to get out of it.

Those who insist it is a supply problem—the solution to which is the setting up of ever more power supply projects including ones that will further contaminate our environment are wrong. 

While supply will always increase, it must be balanced by measures for

  1. Managing efficiency of existing supply and distribution
  2. Ensuring that demand efficiency by eliminating wasteful use of energy

It is for this reason that I have always maintained energy shortfalls that Pakistan is facing is first a governance issue which must be addressed immediately well before we rapidly expand supply.

Sadly, for the last 10 years 3 governments have not understood this or were incapable of addressing the governance issue. It is no wonder that we have the circular debt with us again at the level of another $5 billion.

Listen and discuss. It is only public discussion that will wake up our leadership.

REMEMBER TO SUBSCRIBE TO SOCH BICHAR THEN YOU WILL GET ALL EPISODES AS THEY COME OUT.

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Rethinking education (ENGLISH)

July 3, 2017

Everybody is for education. All politicians, all thinkers and all donors swear by education being the most important investment that needs to be made. Billions of dollars have been invested in education with limited positive results, if any.

My generation’s major success was destroying the limited education system that we inherited from a colonial regime. I came across some young people who have been writing on education taking a fresh provocative approach. 

Here we have a debate on education among these young people:

Nadia Naviwalla,

Shahrukh Wani,

Safyan Aftab, and

Salman Ahmed

We explored several aspects of education. The debate is fascinating and very educational in itself. There are a few recording glitches because of my failures. So please ignore them and look at the substance of the conversation.

Let me again invite all to join in the conversation on Soch Bichar. This is a community project to grow a debate in Pakistan. So join in. 

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