Indian economist Kaushik Basu awarded prestigious Humboldt Research Award of 2021 for economics.


Indian economist Kaushik Basu has been awarded the Humboldt Research Award for Economics. The award was conferred on him by Professor Dr Hans-Bernd Schäfer of Bucerius Law School in Hamburg, Germany.

Kaushik Basu

A native of Kolkata, Kaushik Basu had served as the senior vice president and chief economist at the World Bank from 2012-2016 and as the chief economic advisor to the Government of India for three years from 2009 to 2012.

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation awarded the Humboldt Research Award to Indian economist Kaushik Basu on Tuesday. Basu is also a recipient of the Padma Bhushan.

What is Humboldt Award

Every year, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation grants up to 100 Humboldt Research Awards to internationally leading researchers of all disciplines from abroad in recognition of their academic record to date.

The award amount is €60,000. Award winners are also invited to conduct a research project of their choice at a research institution in Germany in cooperation with specialist colleagues there. The award enables a total stay of between six months and a full year, which can be split into multiple stays.

A former chief economist of the World Bank, Basu is currently a professor of Economics at Cornell University. He also served as the Government of India’s chief economic advisor from 2009 to 2012. Basu is also a recipient of the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award in India.

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi congratulated Basu on Twitter for being awarded the prestigious honour.

In March of this year, Basu had held a virtual interaction with Rahul Gandhi where the two discussed a number of issues ranging from smart cities to unemployment in India.

Prof Kaushik Basu decided to research on moral philosophy and game theory and on law and economics.

He has published widely in the areas of development economics, game theory, law and economics, and industrial organization. His most recent book is “The Republic of Beliefs: A New Approach to Law and Economics” (Princeton University Press, 2018). In July this year, Simon and Schuster will be publishing the diary of his policy years, “Policymaker’s Journal: New Delhi to Washington D.C.”

Prof Basu has authored several papers on Economics, and a play. He has also been a recipient of the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian honour awarded by the Government of India.

Early Life

Basu was born and brought up in Kolkata and has been educated at the Delhi University and the London School of Economics. He served as the Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at the World Bank from 2012-2016,  From 2009 to 2012, during the United Progressive Alliance‘s second term, Basu served as the Chief Economic Adviser to the Government of India

He lives in New York where he teaches Economics and International Studies at Cornell University. He identifies as belonging to the New Keynesian Economics school of thought.

Kaushik Basu was the president of the Human Development and capabilities association founded by Amartya Sen which promotes high quality research in areas of human development and capability. He is the Editor of Social Choice and Welfare, Associate Editor of Japanese Economic Review, and is on the Board of Editors of the World Bank Economic Review. He has been elected to take over as president of the International Economic Association in June 2017, and to serve a three-year term thereafter.

He created Dui-doku, a competitive two-player version of Sudoku

Kaushik Basu was nominated for their award by Prof Dr Hans-Bernd Schäfer of Bucerius Law School, Hamburg, Germany.

Kaushik Basu Personal Life

Kaushik Basu is married to Alaka Malwade Basu with two children, Karna and Diksha. Alaka is a professor at Cornell’s Department of Development Sociology and has been a visiting professor at the Centre for the Study of Regional Development at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.

Economic views

Kaushik Basu believes that good moral qualities are essential for growth and development within the economy. Honesty, trustworthiness and integrity are important qualities that need to be inculcated in an individual for personal development as well as within the society for development. Basu also feels the need to promote quality thinking in government and public debate

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