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

Articles By Dev Nathan

Knowledge and Global Inequality

This paper seeks to explain the nature and basis of inter-country income inequality in the contemporary global capitalist economy. It characterises the current structure of the world economy as a combination of knowledge monopolies, which also become monopsonies, largely located in the headquarter economies of the global North, with producer companies largely based on commoditised knowledge in the supplier economies of the global South.

Imperialism in the 21st Century

Imperialism has taken a new form in the 21st century in the shape of global value chains or global production networks. The GVCs involve the utilisation by lead firms from headquarter economies of differences in international labour costs or international labour arbitrage to earn superprofits or rents. This article deals with the economic mechanisms and processes in producing various types or forms of imperialism.

The Value of Rural Women’s Labour in Production and Wood Fuel Use

How do gender-related factors influence cooking fuel use? Why does an LPG capital subsidy lead to fuel stacking rather than fuel switching? The insights gained from authors’ research are supplemented by case studies, specifically aimed at exploring the connections between women’s labour time and fuel use. Using these observations and case studies, an analytical framework is developed, which yields propositions that can be tested empirically, such as the high value of women’s labour in production leading to the adoption of labour-saving cooking fuel and vice versa. This framework is used to assess the limitations of capital subsidies forLPG in remote rural areas where women’s labour has a low opportunity cost.

Energy Use and Women’s Work in Agriculture

Changes in women’s use of energy in agriculture, in the spheres of crop production and social reproduction, can bring about a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Two technological changes—the shift from household cooking with carbon-emitting solid biomass fuels to liquified petroleum gas as a clean cooking fuel; and the shift from methane-emitting flooded rice cultivation to the System of Rice Intensification with electricity-based alternate wetting and drying—have been considered in this regard. The changes in women’s roles and energy use accompanying these technological interventions have been examined.

Reforming Social Protection for Economic Transformation

India is a low middle-income economy with a development policy that aims to promote it to a high middle-income economy, which requires both economic growth and structural transformation. This article turns the spotlight on some aspects of structural transformation, such as the movement to higher productivity jobs, the formalisation of the vast informal sector, and the promotion of women as economic agents. The experience of other economies shows there is room for a higher share of social protection expenditure in India, but bringing that about would depend on increasing tax revenue and reducing subsidies that are not for the poor.

Industrial Relations in a Global Production Network

Lead firms in today's global production networks control production by suppliers, monopolise the capture of rents, and affect the possible labour market outcomes in supplier firms. But as buyers, and not employers, they have no legal culpability when tragedies occur in units that are links in global chains, like the recent one in Bangladesh. It is time to expand the traditional mechanism, with representatives of employers, workers and the government, to include the key player, the buyers.