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Perspectives on Development   
Perspectives on Development
Memoirs of a Development Economist
V. V. Bhatt
Hard Bound Book (6" x 9¼") :   Pages : 136
2008  Edition   :   ISBN 13: 978-81-7188-683-8
Price : Rs. 595.00 ; US$ 29.95
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Reviews / opinions:


“Dr. Bhatt is a star in the group of eminent development economists, nearly all of them associated with the School of Economics in Bombay and with the Reserve Bank of India, who dominated the Indian scene in the years following Independence. They left a large imprint on Indian planning in their own generation; and they influenced those of us who followed in their footsteps. This alone makes these memoirs that re-create this period, and much else, worth reading. But Dr. Bhatt also writes with grace, breadth and elegance that add to the pleasure that one will get from reading them.”

Jagdish Bhagwati, University Professor, Economics and Law,
Columbia University

“Dr. V.V. Bhatt is a notable exponent of the analytics and empirics of development economics, who has made pioneering contributions to the basic aspects of the subject like capital-output ratios, choice of techniques, balanced growth, and income inequality. Quite exceptionally, he has also hands-on experience of development banking and the teaching of development economics at the Asian Institute of Development, Bangkok and the World Bank. His memoirs are enriched by his rounded experience.”

Anand Chandavarkar, author of Keynes and India and
Central Banking in Development Economies

“Dr. V.V. Bhatt, a distinguished alumnus of the Harvard University belongs to that rare cluster of economic researchers in India of 1950s who set new benchmarks for the standard of economic scholarship by publishing seminal articles in reputed academic journals which scrupulously followed rigorous peer-review process, changing thereby a cynic’s definition of economics in the Indian context as ‘an art in India and science aboard.’ He and some of his colleagues produced high-quality research—both theoretical and policy-oriented in the Research Department of the Reserve Bank of India, placing it on par with other centres of excellence in research like the Delhi School of Economics, Indian Statistical Institute and the Presidency College, Calcutta. Dr. Bhatt’s memoirs, and interesting narrative of how all this came about, should provoke its readers to ask why, at the present time, contributions to economics are made far more by Indians living abroad than in India.”

Deena Khatkhate, Former Managing Editor, World Development;
Associate Editor, Encyclopedia of India and author of
Ruminations of a Gadfly


This is an unusual book of memoirs of both a distinguished economist and a successful public servant. His contributions qua economist could surpass those of many others who devoted their life-time only to teaching and research in India. He has figured conspicuously in the top international journals in economics with articles on different aspects of the subject.

Bhatt as a memorialist has scrupulously avoided being on a self-adulatory ego-trip; he has focused mainly on contextualising his personality in the economic profession of his time in India. He imbibed his apparatus of thought from his great teachers at Harvard like professors, J. Schumpeter, W. Leontief, A. Hansan and A. Gerschenkron, which he harnessed with great success for his creativity in economics. His memoirs are a unique narrative of how economics as a rigorous social discipline evolved in India, superseding most of the arid descriptive economics of his predecessors in pre-war India. He meticulously but without being self-referential describes how the research department of the Reserve Bank of India created a niche for itself in economic research, even overtaking the leading and older central banks in the US and the European continent.

  About the AUTHOR:    

Dr. V.V. Bhatt, educated at the University of Bombay and Harvard University had a successful career both as an academic and a national and international civil servant. As a frequently cited economic researcher, he published some of his seminal articles on capital-output ratios, choice of techniques, balanced and unbalanced growth, project evaluation, income-distribution in India— all major topics in the evolving discipline of development economics. For exegesis of his ideas he chose various internationally acclaimed peer-reviewed journals. He authored nine books on economics. As a public servant, he held high posi-tions such as Economic Adviser, Reserve Bank of India and Chief Executive in the Industrial Bank of India and also Chief, Public Finance Division in the World Bank.



  1. Salt Satyagraha and After (1930-1946)

  2. Learning Economics: India and Harvard (1946-1952)

  3. At the Reserve Bank of India (1953-1972)

  4. Managing a Development Bank (1970-1972)

  5. At the Asian Institute of Economic Development (1964-65)

  6. At the World Bank (1973-1990)

  7. Independent Consultant (1990-2000)

  8. Retrospect on Indian Planning

  9. Profound Insights into the Development Process

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