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

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Agricultural Growth in West Bengal in the 1980s-A Disaggregation by Districts and Crops

A Disaggregation by Districts and Crops Anamitra Saha Madhura Swaminathan From 1965 through 1980, the growth of agricultural production in West Bengal was low, and much lower than in the rest of the country. The situation changed distinctly in the 1980s, Agricultural growth accelerated and West Bengal did better than other eastern states and the rate of growth of foodgrain production was the highest among 17 major states in the country.

Changes in Land Distribution in an Agrarian Economy-Measurement of Household Mobility

Changes in Land Distribution in an Agrarian Economy Measurement of Household Mobility IN the research on patterns of transformation of agrarian society in developing countries, an important question relates to the nature of household economic mobility, in particular, the economic mobility of households in terms of the extent of ownership of land, and its implications for inequality in the distribution of land. Papers on this theme that are based on empirical evidence from south Asia include Attwood (1979), Cain (1981) and Hariss (1985) and, most recently, a paper by Sakti Padhi and K N Nair in this journal (EPW, March 20-27). This note discusses a methodological problem that is common to these papers.

Gender and Industrialisation

Forms of Production and Women's Labour: Gender Aspects of Industrialisation in India and Mexico by Isa Baud; Sage Publications, ISA BAUD'S book deals with an interesting and under-researched problem, that of differences in the forms of employment of women in different types of production units. Baud's study examines differences in the extent of employment of women workers and in the tasks performed by women in different types of production units, ranging from small-scale artisan production in homes to large-scale factories. The study also examines what she calls the "marginalisation hypothesis", that is, whether, in the course of industrialisation, women are pushed into relatively small-scale, low-tech units of production and whether their share in total employment declines, MacEwan Scott defines 'marginalisation' as "women's confinement to the home, to inferior jobs, and to the reserve army of labour" (cited on page 31). To identify Marginalisation', Baud examines several characteristics of women's employment in relation to that of men's employment such as number of jobs available, wages, skill requirements, labour turnover and the type of organisation amomg workers. The book is based on case studies of the textile industry in Coimbatore, the shrimp industry in India and the shoe industry in Mexico. India and Mexico make for an interesting comparison. Both countries are large in extent and in terms of population, and are characterised by diversity of forms of industrial production; on the other hand, the industrial sector makes a significantly larger contribution to national income and employment in Mexico than in India.

Structural Adjustment and the Labour Market

Labour Market Madhura Swaminathan Towards Social Adjustment: Labour Market Issues in Structural Adjust- ment edited by Guy Standing and Victor Tokman; International Labour Office, Geneva, 1991; pp viii + 348, Swiss Francs 30.

Agrarian Reform in Nicaragua

Madhura Swaminathan Harvesting Change: Labor and Agrarian Reform in Nicaragua 1979-1990 by Laura J Enriquez; University of North Carolina Press, 1991.

Village Level Implementation of IRDP-Comparison of West Bengal and Tamil Nadu

Comparison of West Bengal and Tamil Nadu Madhura Swaminathan Though the general guidelines for the Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP) have been determined at the national level, the implementation of the programme and its performance have been far from uniform across the country. A study of the successes and failure of IRDP in different states, then-fore, makes for a better understanding of the functioning of the programme. This paper presents the findings of a study of the IRDP in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu and discusses the comparative performance in the two states.

Growth and Polarisation Changes in Wealth Inequality in a Tamil Nadu Village

Inequality in a Tamil Nadu Village Madhura Swaminathan This paper examines the changes in the distribution of wealth in a relatively advanced, modern and commercialised Tamil Nadu village over the period 1977-85. Two characteristics of the village that motivate the enquiry are (a) the occurrence of some growth in the economy, and (b) the implementation of a major anti-poverty policy that entails the creation of assets in the hands of poor households. The analysis of changes in inequality in the distribution of household assets among a set of village households indicates an extremely high degree of inequality in both years, which worsened over the study period. Further decomposition of inequality brings out the major role of land ownership in the observed rise in inequality. A combination of growth and redistributive policy failed to stem the process of polarisation in this village economv.

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