OBITUARY: PROFESSOR SANJAYA LALL ; Prodigiously Productive Professor of Development Economics at Oxford

By Saith, Ashwani | The Independent (London, England), June 29, 2005 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

OBITUARY: PROFESSOR SANJAYA LALL ; Prodigiously Productive Professor of Development Economics at Oxford

Saith, Ashwani, The Independent (London, England)

Sanjaya Lall, Professor of Development Economics at Oxford University, was in the front echelon of contemporary development economists, and arguably without peer in his own fields of specialisation: technological capability, skill acquisition and industrial competitiveness; foreign direct investment, multinationals and technology transfer; foreign trade regimes, industrialisation and state policy in developing economies in the era of neo-liberal globalisation.

He was born in 1940, in Patna in India. His father was a senior civil servant and his mother a barrister who had returned from Gray's Inn to become one of the earliest female practising lawyers in Bihar. After a brief unhappy entry into schooling in England, Sanjaya returned to St Xavier's High School, Patna. He graduated in Economics, ranked first, from Patna University in 1960, before retracing his grandfather's footsteps to Oxford, where he took a first class PPE degree at St John's College in 1963, then an MPhil in 1965.

He was a stalwart of that passing generation that could afford not to be bothered by a DPhil and chose instead to go straight into research, starting with three years at the World Bank. Apart from a two-year return to the bank in the mid-1980s, Oxford remained forever his home, where he served first as Junior, then as Senior, Research Officer at the Institute of Economics and Statistics for over 30 years; as a University Lecturer in Development Economics at Queen Elizabeth House; as a Fellow of Green College since 1982; and as Professor of Development Economics since 1999. It remained a puzzle why the formal recognition of his high professional reputation and achievements took so much longer to register in his academic home than in the rest of the world, where it was taken as just another one of those curious examples of the arcane ways of ancient universities.

Sanjaya Lall was prodigiously productive. A recent curriculum vitae lists 33 book titles between 1975 and 2003, of these over a dozen being single or co-authored volumes with mainstream academic publishers; there are 75 listed articles in reputable refereed professional journals; another 72 chapters in books; a further 67 reports for international agencies or governments; and yet 27 other articles. Apart from this, he served on the advisory boards of several journals, and notably was the Managing Editor of the new and rising home-grown journal Oxford Development Studies. He was also the Course Director for the MSc in Economics for Development at Oxford University.

His policy-related engagements were equally copious: he acted as adviser or consultant to a wide spectrum of governments and international development organisations, from the World Bank, Unicef and the OECD to the European Commission and the Commonwealth Secretariat; he served as the Principal Consultant to Unctad (the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) on its World Investment Report, and to Unido (the United Nations Industrial Development Organization) on its Industrial Development Report.

It is a remarkable feature that all this output of dedicated research over four decades developed cumulatively out of a small number of large themes " industrialisation, technological change, competitiveness, external economic linkages, and state policy. Lall made contributions in three major areas. The first of these came early in the form of pioneering work on transfer pricing by multinational enterprises, based especially on an empirical investigation of corporations operating in the pharmaceutical industry. It showed basically how multinationals could use intra- firm pricing and accounting mechanisms to siphon out, or invisibly repatriate, profits from their overseas enterprises. This was accompanied by extensive work on the role of foreign investment and multinationals in developing economies, done in part in collaboration with one of his early mentors, Paul Streeten.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

OBITUARY: PROFESSOR SANJAYA LALL ; Prodigiously Productive Professor of Development Economics at Oxford


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?