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

Ramprasad SenguptaSubscribe to Ramprasad Sengupta

Energy Security and Biodiesel

India, like other net oil-importing developing countries, faces energy insecurity centred on the uncertainty surrounding the price of oil and its supply. It has been exploring the feasibility of developing biofuels that can replace petroleum products in the transport sector. But the use of biotic resources may involve changes in the land use pattern if they are to be derived from plantation or agrarian products. Since such a change could threaten the security of food and other agrarian supplies, this paper focuses on biodiesel production from jatropha oilseeds, assessing the profitability and competitiveness of energy cultivation and the chances of it replacing food or cash crop cultivation.

Human Well-Being and Sustainable Development

Human Well-Being and Sustainable Development Human Well-Being and the Natural Environment by Partha Dasgupta; Oxford University Press, Delhi, 2001; pp xxii+305, Rs 595.

Technical Change in Public Sector - Steel Industry

Steel Industry Ramprasad Sengupta Many factors have been held to be responsible for the sorry slate of the country's public sector steel industry which completed its twenty-fifth year last month: the constraint of market on account of industrial recession, infrastructural bottlenecks of non-availability of power, problems of raw material quality and supply, the state of industrial relations and organisational inefficiency of public sector managers. This is, however, far from being the whole story.

Prices and Profit in Public Sector Steel Industry-A Case Study

A Case Study Ramprasad Sengupta The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, we want to examine the rationality of the government's steel price policy with reference to the profitability of the Indian public sector steel industry. Secondly, we would like to show how the past performance of a plant can be analysed to separate the effects of prices from the effects of inefficiency on the financial results, at the micro-plant level of the public sector steel economy.

Technology and Social Dynamics Feudalism and Its Decline

Technology and Social Dynamics: Feudalism and Its Decline Ramprasad Sengupta How inevitable is the progress of human society? How to explain the technological changes in a society? Is there any built-in positive trend in such change? Or is regression, or at least stagnation, possible at some phase of history?

Mathematical Appendix

Thus Cheung and other members of the Chicago school would ignore abundant evidence of imperfect labour markets (including the existence of situations when it is non-sensational to talk about free markets at all), of extra- market coercion used by landlords, traders and moneylenders, of imperfections in capital markets, and happily conclude that their theory is valid if the wage rate or imputed earnings of labour tallied with the marginal productivity of some production function fitted to some data from underdeveloped rural areas. (Sometimes the fitting itself is dubious even by conventional standards of econometric practice as happened in the celebrated case of Hopper's fitting of a Cobb-Douglas production function to some data from an Indian village.12 But this obviously is the result of excess of partisan zeal and should not be taken to conform to the "best-practice technique" of the Chicago school.) , Thus it is extremely pertinent for those who are not adherents of the Chicago school dogma to point out that most of Cheung's results are quite irrelevant in a world characterised by widespread underemployment and unemployment, and by deep imperfections in the labour and capital markets. (I believe incidentally that given Cheung's assumption, his results follow: but that is a doctrinal dispute that may be left to the neoclassical economists to sort out among themselves.) I conclude by reiterating that B-S's assumptions are insufficient to guarantee the existence of an equilibrium in their model in general, that these assumptions are very-odd, and that they totally ignore the implications of both the inequality of economic power between landlords and landless sharecroppers and the existence of widespread unemployment in the countryside of India and other underdeveloped countries.
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