Jayati GoshSep 18, 2023
Are We Really Measuring What We Should Be Measuring?
New Books Network 2023
In this episode of International Horizons, RBI director John Torpey interviewed Jayati Ghosh, professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, about different debates surrounding inequality. Ghosh criticizes the flaws in some inequality indicators that are focusing only on measuring how the poor are doing and not on how the rich are getting richer, or other indicators that exaggerate the performance of the poorest vis-a-vis the richest. Other indicators such as nutrition are misleading, she argues, because governments are focusing on what people are eating and not on the outcomes such as body mass index, anemia or diabetes. Moreover, some governments are using statistical legerdemain to enhance their apparent performance. Finally, Professor Ghosh discusses her research on the COVID pandemic and the way pharmaceutical companies deliberately slowed down the process of spreading the vaccine for their own gain. She argues that COVID revealed and accentuated massive inequalities between countries of the Global North and Global South and that the recent increase in grain prices was not caused by the war on Ukraine but by the ability of global agribusiness to manipulate prices.
International Horizons is a podcast of the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies that brings scholarly expertise to bear on our understanding of international issues. John Torpey, the host of the podcast and director of the Ralph Bunche Institute, holds conversations with prominent scholars and figures in state-of-the-art international issues in our weekly episodes.