Mostly Awesome, Except When It Is Awesomer

I really do not know where to begin. Should I focus on authors or on topics or on interesting academic papers or ???

Let me begin on my thoughts first. I have been reading a bit on what leads to development and growth in a country. It has traditionally been studied by people studying development economics (or dev eco as it is popularly called in campuses). It seeks answer to one question:

What are the causes of growth? Sustainabale growth?

This topic has always been at the centre of economic research. There are numerous ways economists have analysed growth and its factors. I would discuss the different factors in my next blogs.

So began a blog that I think every single student of economics in India should subscribe to. For those of us who have been following Amol Agrawal’s blog, Mostly Economics, for a while, it’s easy to reflect on all of what he’s written over the years since 2007 and realize that he was as good as his word.

For the last fifteen years, Amol has indeed focussed on factors that have influenced growth. His very first post on his blog, which I have excerpted from above, was written all the way back in 2007, and touched upon a point that was clearly a sore one for him: the paucity of research on the role of finance in development. If you are looking for just one source that has diligently shared resources on this topic, you’re in luck, because that is exactly what Mostly Economics is all about.

This might sound like an exaggeration, but I really do mean this – if you want a treasure trove of material on research on this very broad (and very important!) topic, you could do a lot worse than trawl Amol’s blog for specific variations of this topic. This search, I maintain, will give you a better starting point than this one. Of course, you should narrow it further still by choosing a specific topic or a specific central bank, but – forgive me, I’ve always wanted to say this, and since I’ll almost certainly never write a textbook, this is my only platform to say so – I leave that as an exercise for the reader.

But I’m not joking when I say this – Amol’s blog is without question the single best repository when it comes to a very careful curation of content that is still plugging away at answering the question that he raised in his very first blogpost. And taken together, the sum of those blogposts is an invaluable resource to equip yourself with when you start to study macro/monetary/growth/development in India.

What explains the rather weird title of today’s post? It is a (rather horrible, admittedly) attempt at wordplay on his original title. But that does still beg the question – what explains the mostly in Mostly Economics?

Well, the blog is called mostly economics but as I mentioned at the start I am going to write on some topics that interest me. Cricket is one of them. No matter how the performance of the Indian Cricket team, I try and keep updated on the latest the sport has to offer.

Here’s the link to all the blog posts that Amol has written on cricket. How often do you read a blog in which you’ll meet a post on India’s Minsky moment in cricket? What is the intersection set of people who will love the reference from both perspectives? Or a post about Greece being bailed out by the… ICC? Or about the similarities between cricket and the subprime crisis? There’s ton more where this came from, and as someone who tries to figure out ways to make learning economics fun, exciting and is therefore always looking for “hooks”, Mostly Economics has been a rare ol’s treat.

The nature of sharing interesting links and information online has changed over time. Blogs have been replaced with Facebook updates, and those eventually gave way to tweets. And (I’m writing this on the 19th of December, at 10.30 pm, India time, so who knows what all has taken place by the time you read this) once Elon is done with Twitter, something else may come along. But the cantankerous old uncle in me cracks a rare ol’ smile at the sight of a carfeully curated, regularly updated blog that has been plugging away, year after year at a singular task – to help all of us understand the factors that influence growth in the world in which we live.

And so bad English or not, I’ll reiterate the sentiment – the blog is mostly awesome, save for when it is awesomer.

Amol, thank you!