1,262 research outputs found

    Strategy for Economic Reform in West Bengal

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    During the last two decades West Bengal has led the rest of the country with regard to agricultural performance and implementation of panchayat institutions. But these developments have begun to level out. At the same time the state has fallen behind in other sectors--industry, higher education and state of public finances, particularly--to an extent that is seriously worrying. This paper reviews performance of these different sectors, discusses possible explanatory factors, and makes a number of suggestions for policy reforms. With regard to industrial revival, it stresses public investment in transport and communication, measures to improve higher education, foster industry-university collaborations, and help smallscale industries overcome specific market imperfections (access to credit, technology and distribution channels). In public finance, emphasis is placed on raising tax revenues (especially with regard to the service sector), limiting losses of public sector undertakings, and widening the scope of land taxes and user fees. In the agricultural sector, the need for a greater role of the government with regard to biotechnology, extension services, irrigation and flood control is emphasised, along with suggestions for encouraging and regulating contract farming with MNCs. Finally the article urges greater empowerment of panchayats with regard to social service delivery and agro-business development, and administrative reforms to enhance accountability of state government employees.

    Productivity paralysis and the complexity problem : why do centrally planned economies become prematurely gray?

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    Includes bibliographical references (p. 21-22)

    The political economy of public goods: Some evidence from India

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    This paper examines how public goods get allocated by a centralized state. We use data on social structure and public goods in rural India over the sixties, seventies and eighties to examine the influence of particular social groups, and of social and economic heterogeneity more generally, on the availability of public goods. This was a period of rapid expansion in these goods and of important shifts in the political leverage enjoyed by different groups. We find that social divisions are important, but so are the relative positions of particular goups in the broader social hierarchy. These divisions are not however immutable, nor is their influence overwhelming. Some previously marginalized communities have gained over this period while others continue to be disadvantaged. There has also been considerable convergence in the availability of public goods over this period, suggesting that the state feels some compulsion to equalize access, even to those who are not politically influential.

    Networks, Migration and Investment: Insiders and Outsiders in Tirupur's Production Cluster

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    This paper studies the effects of social network based lending. This is a pervasive phenomenon in most of the developing world. Access to such network capital has an obvious influence on investment. It also influences the pattern of migration since, ceteris paribus, migrants would prefer to be in locations where they have access to their community's lending network. We show that under reasonable conditions such lending will generate a rather specific pattern of migration and investment. In particular, migrants to locations where they do not have access to their community's lending networks will tend to have higher ability than the traditional residents of that location, but will invest less relative to their ability. Under some conditions this generates the possibility that migrants have higher ability but invest less in absolute terms than the local people. We test this implication using data from the knitted garment industry in the South Indian town of Tirupur. Comparing the growth rate of output (which, we argue, proxies well for ability) with investment between garment firms owned by migrants to Tirupur and local people, we find that local people have slower output growth but invest substantially more at all levels of experience. We also find a positive correlation between investment and growth within any single community, consistent with the view that capital access does not vary within each group.

    Eviction Threats and Investment Incentives

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    We show that the effect of eviction threats on unobservable investment effort can be positive. We demonstrate this apparently counter-intuitive result in a model of tenancy where investment by a tenant in the current period raises the chances of doing well in the next period, and therefore retaining the job in the period after next period. If the tenant earns rents, the landlord can partly substitute eviction threats for the crop share as an incentive device. This makes it more attractive for him to elicit investment effort. However, there is a direct negative effect of eviction threats on the tenant's discount factor. We find conditions under which the former effect dominates and eviction threats can increase investment incentives.Sharecropping tenancy, eviction threats, investment incentives.