In 1983 Deepak Lal captured the mood of the time with an essay in which he made a case against what he termed “dirigiste dogma” – the largely accepted postwar development economic policy that was pessimistic about the role of markets and supported government intervention in all aspects of the economy. Lal’s view received great support with collapse of the Marxist economies in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union at the end of 1980s. However, as developing countries and the postcosialist, transitional economies struggle toward stability, uncertainly about the role of government versus markets has reentered the debate.
“The remarkable collection of essays confirms Deepak Lal’s status as one of the outstanding present day advocates of economic liberalism.” – David Henderson, center for European Policy Studies, Brussels
Deepak (Kumar) Lal (born 1940) is a British economist. He is the James S. Coleman Professor Emeritus of International Development Studies at the University of California at Los Angeles, professor emeritus of political economy at University College London, and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. He was a member of the Indian Foreign Service (1963-66) and has served as a consultant to the Indian Planning Commission, the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, various UN agencies, South Korea, and Sri Lanka. From 1984 to 1987 he was research administrator at the World Bank.
Lal served as President of the Mont Pelerin Society from 2008 to 2010, and currently serves as Senior Vice President.
Deepak Lal received honorary doctorates from the Paul Cezanne University in Aix-en-Provence, France in 2002 and the Pontifica Universidad Catolica del Peru in Lima, Peru in 2010. In 2007, he received the Italian Societa Libers’s International Freedom Prize for Economics.
Lal is the author of a number of books, including The Poverty of Development Economics; The Hindu Equilibrium; Against Dirigisme; The Political Economy of Poverty, Equity and Growth; Unintended Consequences: The Impact of Factor Endowments, Culture, and Politics on Long-Run Economic Performance; and Reviving the Invisible Hand: The Case for Classical Liberalism in the 21st Century.