Prominent Indian economist honored with 2021 Humboldt Research Award


A world-renowned Indian economist has been awarded the prestigious 2021 Humboldt Research Award for economics.

Kaushik Basu is a professor of economics and the Carl Marks Professor of International Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences and SC Johnson College of Business at Cornell University. He was the Chief Economist of the World Bank from 2012 to 2016, and Chief Economic Adviser to the Indian government from 2009 to 2012.

The Humboldt Research Award is sponsored by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation based in Bonn, Germany.

According to a university press release, this prestigious award acknowledges excellence through an entire career and offers research collaboration opportunities.

Basu is currently serving as president of the International Economic Association (from 2017 to 2021). He has published widely in the areas of development economics, game theory, law and economics, and industrial organization.

The Indian American economist’s 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.”

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

To promote international scientific cooperation, Humboldt Research Award winners are invited to carry out research projects of their own choice in cooperation with specialist colleagues in Germany. Basu said that he plans to use the award to do research on moral philosophy and game theory, and on law and economics.

Basu was born in Kolkata, India, where he attended St. Xavier’s Collegiate School. In 1969 he moved to Delhi to do his undergraduate studies in Economics, from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. He then attended the London School of Economics and was awarded MSc in Economics from the University of London in 1974.

He has received honorary doctorates from Lucknow University, in 2011, Assam University, in 2012, Fordham University, New York, in 2013, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, in 2013, University of Bath, U.K., in 2016, on the occasion of the University’s fiftieth anniversary, and the Jadavpur University Kolkata in 2018.