ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Quintile Income Statistic, Money-metric Poverty, and Disequalising Growth in India: 1983 to 2011-12

On the record of poverty and growth in India over the last 30 or so years, the general scholarly view seems to be that there have been substantial declines in money-metric poverty and that the growth in per capita consumption expenditure has not been marked by any discernible evidence of non-inclusiveness. It is argued in this paper that inferences of this nature are largely a consequence of the particular approaches to the measurement of poverty and inclusiveness that have been generally adopted in the literature. Alternative, and arguably more plausible, protocols of measurement suggest a picture of money-metric deprivation and growing disparity in India which shares little in common with received wisdom on the subject.

Growth and Inequality in the Distribution of India's Consumption Expenditure: 1983 to 2009-10

This paper undertakes an assessment of the evolution of inequality in the distribution of consumption expenditure in India over the last quarter-century, from 1983 to 2009-10, employing data available in the quinquennial "thick" surveys of the National Sample Survey Office. We find that plausible adjustments to the data, along with an emphasis on "centrist" rather than "rightist" or "leftist" inequality measures, lead to a picture of widening over-time inequality in the distribution of consumption expenditure, which is at odds with the impression of more or less unchanging inequality conveyed in some of the literature available on the subject in India.

Family Migration in India

In this paper an attempt has been made to provide an account of family migration which is a relatively under-researched phenomenon, in India. The analysis, while suggesting the importance of factors related to both growth theory ("pull") and Third World urbanisation ("push") versions in explaining family migration, also brings out the importance of evolving a framework that incorporates the complex interplay of social, political, environmental and development-related factors for a more comprehensive understanding of family migration in India and in other parts of the developing world.

On the Inter-Group Inclusiveness of India's Consumption Expenditure Growth

This paper complements an earlier one by the same authors ("On the Interpersonal Inclusiveness of India's Consumption Expenditure Growth", EPW, 10 November 2012) on the interpersonal inclusiveness of consumption expenditure growth in India. Covering six data points in the 27-year period from 1983 to 2009-10 (respectively, five data points in the 22-year period from 1987-88 to 2009-10), the present essay reviews evidence on the inter-caste (respectively, inter-occupation) inclusiveness of consumption expenditure growth in the country. The population groupings considered are simple binary classifications on the basis of caste and of occupation. "Inclusiveness" is assessed in terms of the conformity (or its absence) of the actual group-wise distributions of the fruits of growth with normatively specified "egalitarian" allocations across groups. As with interpersonal inclusiveness, the record of inter-group inclusiveness also turns out to be disappointingly deficient.

On the Interpersonal Inclusiveness of India's Consumption Expenditure Growth

This paper reviews the evidence on the interpersonal inclusiveness of the growth in consumption expenditure that has occurred in India over the last four decades or so. The notion of dynamic inclusiveness is framed in terms of imagined normative allocations of the inter-temporal product of growth, as dictated by notions of equity of varying orders of demandingness. There are analytical parallels between these exercises and those involved in the study of bankruptcy in "Talmudic estate problems", as well as in the determination of optimal anti-poverty budgetary allocations. Inclusive growth in this paper is assessed with respect to inclusiveness across income classes. The results of the investigation undertaken in the essay suggest distressingly little evidence of interpersonal inclusiveness in India's consumption growth experience.

AChakravarty-D'Ambrosio View of Multidimensional Deprivation: Some Estimates for India

In assessing multidimensional deprivation, often the only information available to the analyst is the range of deprivation, that is, the number of dimensions in which each individual is deprived. The present paper considers a simple procedure for sensitising both the identification and the aggregation problems to the range of deprivation. It provides an exposition of a class of headcount indices which were earlier investigated as a class of indices of social exclusion by Chakravarty and D'Ambrosio. Additionally, the paper presents a graphical device called the 'D'-curve which serves as a representation of 'binary-valued' multidimensional deprivation, and a measure 'M' based on this curve. Finally, the paper offers estimates of multidimensional deprivation in the Indian context, employing data from the 1991-92 and 2005-06 rounds of the National Family Health Surveys.

Factors Contributing to the Declining Trend in Sex-Differentials in Mortality in India

The disappearance of "excess" female mortality tends to be attributed to a reduction in discrimination against females in the intra-family allocation of resources in access to healthcare and nutrition. The exploratory analysis in this paper suggests that the disappearance of "excess" female mortality in India is attributable to the process of demographic development and not to declines in discrimination in the intra-family allocation of resources.

Manufacturing Hysteria

The unhappy fact is that illicit dramatisations of misrepresented statistics today are compatible with demands for ethnic cleansing tomorrow. Intellectually, morally, and politically, this sort of manufactured hysteria and diversionary violence must be strongly and uncompromisingly resisted.

Abusing Demography

Abusing Demography Religious Demography of India by A P Joshi, M D Srinivas and J K Bajaj; Centre for Policy Studies, Chennai,
D JAYARAJ, S SUBRAMANIAN Who forsakes measure, measure forsakes.

Child Labour in Tamil Nadu in the 1980s

This paper sifts certain important sources of secondary data, in its efforts to present certain broad descriptive features of the phenomenon of child labour in Tamil Nadu and its distribution across well-defined socio-economic groups classified by gender, sector-of-origin and caste, and its dispersal across space. As NSS data for 1987-88 suggest, the magnitude of child labour in Tamil Nadu appears disturbingly large, with nearly 11 children out of every 100 in the workforce. Tragically, this very large presence of orderly, systematic child labour and child illiteracy, together with their thorough dispersal across space, has rendered the phenomenon of child labour an unremarkable, everyday occurrence. The concerns of society and the state remain limited to certain specific occupations in certain specific locations, to the neglect of other occupations and locations which merit at least equal attention.

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