Economic Graffiti: The Turin miracle
A magical trip that almost didn’t happen. A moment when disbelief was shaken.
Written by Kaushik Basu | Published: December 28, 2017 12:15 am
(Illustration: C R Sasikumar)
About a year ago I was invited to give the Luca d’Agliano Lecture in Turin. This annual lecture has established itself as a major event, I was keen to share some new research I have been doing on law and economics, and I had never been to Turin. In short, there was every reason to give this lecture; and in the process I got to spend three blissful days in Turin.
I lectured on law, economics and corruption control, covering an expanse of material, from Kautilya’s writings, c. 300 BCE, to contemporary research. In most emerging economies, from China and India, through much of sub-Saharan Africa, to Brazil and Argentina, corruption seems like an endemic problem. As Kautilya had, maybe too cynically, noted, “Just as it is impossible not to taste honey on the tip of the tongue, so it is impossible for a government servant not to eat up at least a part of the king’s revenue.”
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