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Photo courtesy Jagdish Bhagwati

University Professor of Economics and Law, Columbia University

Richard von Weizsäcker Distinguished Visitor - Class of Spring 2015

Jagdish N. Bhagwati is a professor of economics and law at Columbia University and a senior fellow for international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations. During his long career spanning several decades, Bhagwati has made a name for himself as a passionate advocate of free trade and as a careful observer of the socio-economic implications of international trade.


He has served as special adviser to the United Nations on globalization and as an external adviser to the World Trade Organization. He was also a member of the advisory committee to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, an initiative aimed at the development of the continent. From 1991 to 1993, he was an economics policy advisor to the Director-General of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. In 2014, the Financial Times called him “one of the most outstanding economists of his generation never to have won the Nobel Prize,” though in a cameo in a 2010 episode of the Simpsons, he was given the award.


Bhagwati is the author of several books, including Why Growth Matters: How Economic Growth in India Reduced Poverty and the Lessons for Other Developing Countries, which he co-authored with Arvind Panagariya. His 2004 book In Defense of Globalization received worldwide acclaim. A native of India, Bhagwati is the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Frank Seidman Distinguished Award in Political Economy and the Freedom Prize of Switzerland.

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