Creating an Economical Paradigm for a Changing World


The current paradigm of economics has proven inadequate in resolving many of the poly-crisis India is facing. From inflation, exchange rates and trade agreements, to secure employment and adequate incomes – consensus among economists has broken down about these issues. In search for a systemic solution, experts have looked towards China, who famously increased its GDP five times faster than India, and to Vietnam, now seen as a more attractive destination for global and Japanese investors.

Western neo-liberal economists have attributed China’s rise to free trade policies; however, the human development theory of economic growth has been rediscovered, suggesting that the precondition of economic growth is providing the fundamentals in education and public health which India is still lacking.

Arun Maira’s book ‘Transforming Systems: Why the World Needs a New Ethical Toolkit’ calls for a new paradigm of economics, not just one rooted in mathematics, but also one that takes into account the shape of complex adaptive systems, and listens to the needs of people within them. He suggests looking to Einstein’s sentiments on solving systemic problems with the same thinking that caused them, instead of reaching for global solutions and economic theories from the West.

To address India’s poly-crisis and other recent global issues, Arun Maira believes the world needs a fresh ethical toolkit to move forward, towards a better version of our systems and societies. This means valuing a range of perspectives as opposed to single quantitative lenses, looking for systemic solutions to global problems, and providing the necessary fundamentals for human and economic development.

About Arun Maira
Arun Maira is an Indian economist, public servant, and social leader. He has been the former member of the Planning Commission of India, the former chairman and member of the board at the Boston Consulting Group, and a visiting professor to many universities. Maira is also the author and co-author of many books and articles, mainly focusing on the modern economics of the 21st century.

For this article, Maira has suggested that Indian economists lead the movement towards a new paradigm of economics, instead of just following developments. He believes this ‘new ethical toolkit’ is necessary to move towards a better future, as current models are no longer advanced enough to deal with global issues and crises.