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Jagdish N. Bhagwati

Senior Fellow for International Economics

Expertise

International trade; economic policy reforms; immigration.

Programs

Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies

Featured Publications

Book
Renewing America

Renewing America

Skilled Immigration Today

Authors: Jagdish N. Bhagwati and Gordon H. Hanson

While immigration reform usually refers to unskilled labor, skilled immigration requires different policy action. Bhagwati and Hanson bring together today's foremost immigration experts to examine the phenomenon.

See more in Immigration; United States

All Publications

Foreign Affairs Article

Banned Aid

Author: Jagdish N. Bhagwati

As the Zambian economist Dambisa Moyo argues, the concept of foreign aid is flawed -- not just because corrupt dictators divert aid for nefarious or selfish purposes but also because even in reasonably democratic countries, aid creates perverse incentives and unintended consequences.

See more in United States; Foreign Aid

Book
Renewing America

Renewing America

Skilled Immigration Today

Authors: Jagdish N. Bhagwati and Gordon H. Hanson

While immigration reform usually refers to unskilled labor, skilled immigration requires different policy action. Bhagwati and Hanson bring together today's foremost immigration experts to examine the phenomenon.

See more in Immigration; United States

Op-Ed

We need to guard against destructive creation

Author: Jagdish N. Bhagwati
Financial Times

There is an assumption that financial innovation is like non-financial innovation in that both are examples of what Joseph Schumpeter called "creative destruction". But in this Financial Times op-ed, Jagdish Bhagwati writes that the downside of financial innovation can be "destructive creation". We therefore need an independent commission of experts to look at the potential downsides of financial innovation.

See more in Financial Crises; Monetary Policy; United States

Op-Ed

How the Food Crisis Could Solve the Doha Round

Authors: Jagdish N. Bhagwati and Arvind Panagariya
Financial Times

With the Doha trade round in danger of slipping from our grasp, it has become commonplace to assert that the food crisis, while a tragedy, is a shot in the arm for the talks. In this Financial Times op-ed, Jagdish Bhagwati and Arvind Panagariya find that only one such argument passes muster—the fact that high food prices should soften U.S. opposition to lower agricultural subsidies, thereby relaxing key constraints on the final compromises necessary to reach an agreement on agricultural liberalisation.

See more in International Organizations and Alliances; India; Trade

Article

Don't Cry for Free Trade

Author: Jagdish N. Bhagwati
Council on Foreign Relations

Newspaper and magazine stories refer to a "loss of nerve", even a "loss of faith" in free trade by economists. When presidential candidates are challenged by free trade proponents, they typically say: "Ah, but economists no longer have a consensus on free trade." But the truth of the matter is that free trade is alive. The analytical arguments in favor of trade have hardly been dented by its critics, such as Alan Blinder, arrayed against it.

See more in United States; Labor; Trade

Op-Ed

The free trade perspective lives on

Author: Jagdish N. Bhagwati
Financial Times

Turn to the leading US newspapers these days and you will read about the "loss of nerve", even "loss of faith", in free trade by economists. In this Financial Times piece, Jagdish Bhagwati argues that, when examined in a historical perspective, it is clear free trade is alive and well among economists.

See more in Global; Trade

Teaching Module

Teaching Module: In Defense of Globalization

Author: Jagdish N. Bhagwati

This module features teaching notes by CFR senior fellow Jagdish N. Bhagwati, author of In Defense of Globalization, along with other resources to supplement the text. In this new edition of his popular book, Bhagwati argues that, when properly regulated, globalization can be the most powerful force for social good in the world today.

See more in Globalization; Global

Op-Ed

Treat illegal immigrants decently

Author: Jagdish N. Bhagwati
Financial Times

Prospects for immigration reform have failed, and mostly because many of the proposed reforms had already been tried, unsuccessfully, with the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act. If amnesty is no longer possible, we should instead work to raise the comfort level of immigrants closer to levels of what citizenship brings, argues Jagdish Bhagwati.

See more in United States; Immigration

CFR Events

Guest Event ⁄ New York

CFR Fellows' Book Launch Series: Why Growth Matters--How Economic Growth in India Reduced Poverty and the Lessons for Other Developing Countries

Speaker:

Jagdish N. Bhagwati, Senior Fellow for International Economics, Council on Foreign Relations

Presider:

Richard N. Haass, President, Council on Foreign Relations
November 5, 2013 5:30-6:00 p.m. - Cocktail Reception
6:00-6:45 p.m. - Discussion
6:45-7:15 p.m. - Cocktail Reception and Book Signing

This meeting is on the record.

ListenWatch

Conference Panel Session

Trade Tensions: Challenges and Opportunities after the Midterm Elections

Discussants:

Charlene Barshefsky, Senior International Partner, WilmerHale; former U.S. Trade Representative, Jagdish N. Bhagwati, Senior Fellow for International Economics, Council on Foreign Relations; Professor of Economics and Law, Columbia University; Author, In Defense of Globalization and Termites in the Trading System: How Preferential Trade Agreements Undermine Free Trade, Douglas A. Irwin, Robert E. Maxwell ’23 Professor of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics, Dartmouth College; Author, Free Trade Under Fire

Presider:

Edward Alden, Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations; former Washington Bureau Chief, Financial Times
November 17, 2010

This meeting is not for attribution.

ListenWatch

Conference Panel Session

Trade Tensions: Challenges and Opportunities After the Midterm Elections

Speakers:

Charlene Barshefsky, Senior International Partner, WilmerHale; Former U.S. Trade Representative, Jagdish N. Bhagwati, Senior Fellow for International Economics, Council on Foreign Relations; Professor of Economics and Law, Columbia University; Author, In Defense of Globalization and Termites in the Trading System: How Preferential Agreements Undermine Free Trade, Douglas A. Irwin, Robert E. Maxwell '23 Professor of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics, Dartmouth College; Author, Free Trade Under Fire

Presider:

Edward Alden, Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations; Former Washington Bureau Chief, Financial Times
November 17, 2010 11:15-12:30 p.m.

This meeting is on the record.

ListenWatch

Academic Conference Call

In Defense of Globalization

Speaker:

Jagdish N. Bhagwati, Senior Fellow for International Economics, Council on Foreign Relations; Author, In Defense of Globalization

Presider:

Irina A. Faskianos, Vice President, National Program & Outreach, Council on Foreign Relations
November 29, 2007

This meeting is not for attribution.

Listen

General Meeting ⁄ New York

The Doha Round: Where Are We Headed?

Speakers:

Jagdish N. Bhagwati, Senior Fellow, International Economics, Council on Foreign Relations, Lael Brainard, Vice President and Director, Global Economy and Development Center; New Century Chair in International Economics, The Brookings Institution

Presider:

James F. Hoge Jr., Peter G. Peterson Chair & Editor, Foreign Affairs
December 5, 2005

This meeting is not for attribution.

Listen

Press/Panels

Article

Populism may prove to be a poison pill

In their letter to the Financial Times, Jagdish Bhagwati and Arvind Panagariya say India's deteriorating economy and currency depreciation underscore the dangers of populist policies.

Article

Go for Growth in India

Jagdish Bhagwati and Arvind Panagariya underscore the necessity of economic growth for effective social reform in their letter to The Economist.

Panel

Columbia University World Leaders Forum: Multilateralism in Trade at Risk

Jagdish Bhagwati joins Michael Moore, former director-general of the World Trade Organization, and Leif Pagrotsky, former Swedish trade minister in a discussion on whether and how the Doha round should be rescued. The panel is moderated by Columbia University's Merit Janow, with introductory remarks from current Director-General of the World Trade Organization, Pascal Lamy.

Watch

Video Interview

Trade Still Matters

Jagdish Bhagwati talks about trade and its essential role in economic recovery at the OECD Global Forum on Trade.

Watch

Panel

Responsibility is Local, Not Global

In this NYTimes Room for Debate, Jagdish Bhagwati says acute governance shortfall is to blame for Bangladeshi factory tragedies.

Panel

Offshoring & outsourcing

In this Economist Debate, Jagdish Bhagwati says MNC investments abroad enhance American competitiveness.

Bio

Jagdish Bhagwati is senior fellow for international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and University Professor of Economics, Law, and International Affairs at Columbia University. He has been economic policy adviser to Arthur Dunkel, director-general of GATT (1991–93), special adviser to the UN on globalization, and external adviser to the WTO. He has served on the expert group appointed by the director-general of the WTO on the future of the WTO and the advisory committee to Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the NEPAD process in Africa, and was also a member of the Eminent Persons Group under the chairmanship of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil on the future of UNCTAD. Recently, he has been co-chair with President Halonen of Finland of the Eminent Persons Group on Developing Countries in the World Economy.

Professor Bhagwati has been described as the most creative international trade theorist of his generation and is a leader in the fight for freer trade. His most recent book, Why Growth Matters (PublicAffairs, 2013), has received notice in leading magazines and newspapers like The Economist, the Financial Times, Forbes, and Wall Street Journal. His earlier book, Termites in the Trading System (Oxford University Press, 2008) discusses the deleterious effects of preferential trading agreements. His previous book In Defense of Globalization (Oxford University Press, 2004) attracted worldwide acclaim. Five volumes of his scientific writings and two of his public policy essays have been published by MIT press. The recipient of six festschrifts in his honor, he has also been awarded several prizes, seventeen honorary degrees, and awards from the governments of India (the Padma Vibhushan) and Japan (Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star).

Professor Bhagwati writes frequently in major newspapers and magazines worldwide and has reviewed for the New York Times Book Review, Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, The New Republic, and Times Literary Supplement. He has also appeared on TV shows including MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, the Charlie Rose Show, BBC News, CNN, and Bloomberg Television.

A native of India, Professor Bhagwati attended Cambridge University where he graduated in 1956 with a first in economics tripos. He then continued to study at MIT and Oxford returning to India in 1961 as professor of economics at the Indian Statistical Institute and then as professor of international trade at the Delhi School of Economics. He returned to MIT in 1968, leaving it twelve years later as the Ford International Professor of Economics to join Columbia. He is married to Padma Desai, the Gladys and Ronald Harriman Professor of Comparative Economic Systems at Columbia University and a scholar of Russian and other former socialist countries' transition problems. They have one daughter, Anuradha Kristina.