Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Krishna Bharadwaj, A Sraffian Economist

A web site devoted to freeing Binayak Sen reprints an article from The Telegraph-Calcutta. This article draws a parallel between Sudha Bharadwaj and Binayek Sen.

I don't know anything about B. Sen or S. Bharadwaj. But if Arundathi Roy and Amartya Sen are protesting your arrest, I assume you should be freed. The People's Union for Civil Liberties, at first glance, sounds like a fine organization.

Apparently Sudha Bharadwaj is the daughter of Krishna Bharadwaj. I happen to have read her review of Sraffa's book - or at least the extracts that Harcourt and Laing (1971) reprint. As I recall from somewhere, she took a couple of years to write this review. When given Sraffa's book to review, she felt obligated to reread Adam Smith and David Ricardo. This was a perceptive understanding.

I first became aware of Krishna Bharadwaj's work, though, by stumbling upon her 1989 collection of essays. These are reprinted from such journals as Australian Economic Papers, the Cambridge Journal of Economics, and others. I found these essays quite good. I later read her 1978 lecture and the 1990 conference volume she co-edited with Bertram Schefold. Until the last few years, that conference seems to have been the most thorough assessment of Sraffa's contributions - not that economists such as Pierangelo Garegnani and Paul Samuelson could agree. She also has some applied work which I haven't read.

  • Krishna Bharadwaj (1963) "Value Through Exogenous Distribution", Economic Weekly (Bombay), 24 August: 1450-1454
  • Krishna Bharadwaj (1978) Classical Political Economy and the Rise to Dominance of Supply and Demand Theories, Orient Longman
  • Krishna Bharadwaj (1989) Themes in Value and Distribution: Classical Theory Reappraised, Unwin Hyman
  • Krishna Bharadwaj and Bertram Schefold (editors) (1990) Essays on Piero Sraffa: Critical Perspectives on the Revival of Classical Theory, Unwin Hyman
  • G. C. Harcourt and N. F. Laing (editors) (1971) Capital and Growth, Penguin


AshisTaru Deb said...

I did my M.A. from CESP in 1983 after doing B.Sc(Hons) from NEHU, Shillong in 1981. With a poor knowledge of Economics, doing an MA in Economics from JNU was quite difficult. I was taught Classical theories of value and distribution by Prof Krishna Bharadwaj. I remember her to be a very serious teacher. However, I was not very well aware of her contribution to Economics. I somehow managed to get an A minus in her paper after repeating it. Although I worked hard for the paper, I do not think I understood all what i read.I remember having walked together from centre to Dakshinapuram. She used to stay at Dakmshinapuram and I used to stay at Kaveri hostel. I wish i would have understood al she taught us with perfect clarity.When such papers like Economic history is made optional and classical theory of value and distribution is taught at undergraduate level in DU, we JNUites need to pursue them with all seriousness and should make some organized attempt to continue our traditions so diligently established by Professor Krishna Bharadwaj.
Ashis Taru Deb,Associate Professor, CVS,DU

AshisTaru Deb said...

AN INADVERTENT MISTAKE. PLEASE READ " is not taught" in lieu of " is taught"

please read is not taught" in lieu of "is taught"

Robert Vienneau said...

Thanks for the recollections.