Entrepreneurship and the Code Economy (ENGLISH)

October 19, 2017

Entrepreneurship and innovation are at the core of development. When we first put these concepts in the Framework of Economic Growth (FEG) in the Planning Commission, people were surprised. Given the preoccupation with fiscal arithmetic and ‘theories of a bygone era’ most people thought economics was all about deficits, and growth was about development projects and aid.   

Phil Auerswald a professor of Economics at George Mason University helped with the FEG preparing both a background paper as well as a documentary on entrepreneurship. Since then Phil has written 2 books. The first “The Coming Prosperity” is about how entrepreneurship across the globe could lead to huge gains for the global population.

His second book “The Code Economy” is a human history as seen through the lens of technology or what is at the back of all technology—recipes or code.

Here we discuss

  • Phil’s involvement in Pakistan
  • What entrepreneurship is? And what policies can nurture is?
  • What code and technology is? What lessons for policy can we derive.

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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Getting India Pakistan dialog to move forward (ENGLISH)

October 7, 2017

Despite much talk India Pakistan dialog does not seem to move forward. Here Saleem Ali a Pakistani professor at Delaware discusses his ideas about how the dialog can be taken forward and what role the world and friendly countries can play to facilitate it. 

We also discuss the role of various factions in each country can play to achieving more regional integration.

We also discuss why domestic reform remains underweighted in the debate especially in Pakistan. The pace of domestic reform in both countries appears to be very slow with much of the colonial administration intact and local government still very weak.   

This is an important subject that also needs more attention but with more innovation than in the past. 

 

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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Understanding economic history of the world (ENGLISH)

September 22, 2017

Hilton Root is a professor in Public Policy and Economics in George Mason University. He has published many books and is now working on using complexity to understand economic history and development. 

His new book is “Global Transformations in Economic History”. In this book, he uses complexity theory to understand economic history. It sheds new light on how the west evolved technology and institutors to achieve global domination.

  • Why did China which had the lead in technology all the way through the middle ages surrender this lead?
  • Why was decentralized and warring Europe the cauldron of change and discovery in the 18th and 19th centuries?
  • How did the notion of sovereignty and systems fo governance evolve?

 

All students of economics and all people interested in policy must listen to this and clean fresh perspectives on how global economic transitions happened.

 

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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Inside Universities (ENGLISH)

September 15, 2017

Amer Raza, now a Ph.D. candidate in University of Massachusetts, has been teaching in the University of Peshawar. We discuss the inner working of a Pakistani university from the perspective of an insider.

What emerges is a picture of teaching colleges with limited mentoring and motivating students. Sadly, students are not getting a holistic learning experience which will prepare them for a life of competition in an increasingly globalized world full of change.

It is just bad management of universities and a system created by HEC for failure while counting numbers. 

Listen to this and get into some research and writing about these universities to see if we can change them into modern eco-systems of knowledge. 

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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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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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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Finance and economy (URDU)

June 29, 2017

Today our guest is Nasim Beg a well-known corporate personality in Pakistan. He is now a leading figure in Arif Habib securities a large holding company stretching from finance to cement.

 

We discuss his career, the state of financial markets in Pakistan as well as economic policy. It is a wide-ranging discussion from which you will learn much about our markets as well as the state of our policy.

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Congratulations! Pakistan Won (URDU)

June 20, 2017

Like the rest of Pakistan, we wanted to celerbrate the victory in cricket at the Oval. 

The covnersation led to us wondering abou the sports industry and its role in the economy. And then to analyzing why we dont have sucn an industry and should we? 

We also outline some research topics that students and researchers should take up.  

 

Listen enjoy. Spread the word on Soch Bichar. Cite it when you can. 

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How land is so central to the economy of Pakistan (URDU)

June 20, 2017

In my book "looking Back" I had noted that land is the principle means of rent-seeking in Pakistan. It seems that land-grab has defined much in this country. 

Here Anjum and I discuss this important subject.

See what you think.

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It is the constitution, stupid! (URDU)

June 15, 2017

The civil-military divide is a subject of continuous discussion. Democracy doesn’t seem to take root as politicians seek unaccountable power and fail to develop any respect for institutions. Debate in the media and our academia is limited to wishing for both the army and politicians to behave.

Few look at the constitution that is supposed to frame democracy. Pakistan’s constitution was hurriedly framed using the Government of India Act of 1935 with little regard for constitutional principles and local context. It seems that without amending this constitution to develop adequate checks and balances, better election system for improved representation, more detail on institutions and how they are run, as well as a well-defined local government system, democracy and good government will elude us.

Here we take this important subject up with Bakhtawar Soofi a young lawyer who writes in papers and has freshly studied this subject.

The constitution is too important a subject to be left to lawyers alone has been emphasized by several major economic thinkers. The constitution provides the backdrop to economic activity. And many economists such as Hayek, Buchanan and Mueller have written about it.

The constitution is a subject on which many disciplines should be brought to bear. So, we invite all of you to devote some attention to debating and researching the constitution.

The current debate that excludes the constitution is barren. We need to move towards understanding the constitutions and incentives it sets for politicians, institutions and the players in the economy. 

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Policy and budgets (URDU)

June 12, 2017

We discuss policy and Budgets with Shahid Mahmood Head of research in Prime Institute.

He has worked in government and with donors and is actively engaged in research.  

His insights into the budget process and policy in Pakistan are worth listening to if you are interested in economic policy.

He asks

  • why should we have budgets if we don’t intend to follow them?
  • How do we do policy?
  • What is the role of the budget and policies undelying it. 

Please listen and enjoy.

His book recommendation at the end is excellent.

Please listen to Soch Bichar, debate it , cite it and spread it to your friends. 

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Development happens in cities (URDU)

June 9, 2017

Popular discourse holds that rural development is imperative for accelerating growth. USAID too seems to hold this belief and has put most of its billions that were dedicated for growth towards the development of agriculture. Yet the results of all this effort to develop agriculture have been disappointing.

Anjum and I assert that development is essentially a city phenomenon. And that the failure of Pakistan development strategy is the inability of the economics profession to understand cities and their role in development.

So listen and please increase your research and debate in this area.

In doing so do read the Framework of economic growth and some of our work on cities that you can find on the web.

Remember to cite what you read and listen. So cite Soch Bichar if you find it useful.

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Pakistan and Austerity (URDU)

May 23, 2017

It is important to understand “austerity” which is a major controversial subject in Europe.

Our contention is that we have not understood how we are unthinkingly following a policy of “austerity.”

This “austerity” policy has relied on excessive and arbitrary taxation that falls more heavily on the poor, refused to rationalize expenditures and relied heavily on debt. This combination of policies has been kept in place to principally postpone reform and keep outmoded structures alive.

The combination of ‘austerity’ policy and postponement of structural reform has reduced productivity, growth and employment alive. 

Please listen and learn.  We need more research in austerity policy. Those interested should listen carefully and write papers on austerity. But please cite SOCH BIOCHAR.

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