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About Amit Varma

Amit Varma is a writer based in Mumbai. He worked in journalism for over a decade, and won the Bastiat Prize for Journalism in 2007. His bestselling novel, My Friend Sancho, was published in 2009. He is best known for his blog, India Uncut. His current project is a non-fiction book about the lack of personal and economic freedoms in post-Independence India.

Bastiat Prize 2007 Winner

Recent entries

What a Fix!

This is the 19th installment of Rhyme and Reason, my weekly set of limericks for the Sunday Times of India…

Two Villains

This is the 18th installment of Rhyme and Reason, my weekly set of limericks for the Sunday Times of India…

How This Nobel Has Redefined Literature

This piece was published today in the Times of India. It’s rare that when a prize is given to someone,…

To Defeat Pakistan’s Generals, Let’s Embrace Their Artists

This is a guest column published today in the Sunday Times of India edit page. I am a hawk when…

The Girl From Haryana

A slightly shorter version of this feature on Sakshi Malik was published in the October 2016 issue of Elle India.…

16 January, 2008

The 2008 Index of Economic Freedom…

... is out now. Find India:


I’ve taken the table from Mary Anastasia O’Grady’s comment in the Wall Street Journal, in which she explains:

[T]he evidence is piling up that neither government nor multilateral spending on education and infrastructure are key to development. To move out of poverty, countries instead need fast growth; and to get that they need to unleash the animal spirits of entrepreneurs.


The nearby table shows the 2008 rankings but doesn’t tell the whole story. The Index also reports that the freest 20% of the world’s economies have twice the per capita income of those in the second quintile and five times that of the least-free 20%. In other words, freedom and prosperity are highly correlated.

It really is no surprise why India is still a poor country, is it?

(O’Grady link via Cafe Hayek.)

Posted by Amit Varma in Economics | Freedom | India

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