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

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Robbers and Libbers

Robbers and Libbers Polanki Rama Moorthy MAY I pursue some of the insights offered by Meenakshi Mukherjee in her "Reality and Realism; Indian Women as Protagonists in Four Nineteenth Century Novels" (Economic and Political Weekly, January 14)? What is most fascinating in Mukherjee's perspicacious analysis is what the novels reveal, in terms of their 'imagery' in contrast to what the novelists seek to put over in terms of their 'plots'

Informal Credit Markets and Monetary Policy

Informal Credit Markets and Monetary Policy Shankar Acharya Srinivasa Madhur INTRODUCTION IN our paper 'Informal Credit Markets and Black Money: Do They Frustrate Monetary Policy' (see Acharya and Madhur, 1983), we had tried to tackle the issue of whether the existence of an informal credit market and 'black liquidity' undermines the operation of official monetary and credit policy at the aggregate level. To address this issue, we formulated a simple model of the markets for commercial bank credit and informal credit and the interactions between them.

Congress(I), Communist Parties and Communalism

good theorem according to which if the relative prices among a set of commodities remain constant over time, one can aggregate across commodities and use such an aggregate as a composite good.

Malnutrition of Rural Children and the Sex Bias

August 25,1984 Figures within brackets are ranks. gions, the nutritional situation is worse than in the other group consisting of all northern states, most of the eastern states and some of the western states.

The Communists, the Congress and the Anti-Colonial Movement

able that the widely scattered nature of the distribution gradually becomes concentrated through the years 1951, 1961 and 1971. In 1951 (graph F), three distinct clusters are evident, one in (e), where the primary sector predominates, another in (b), where the secondary sector is dominant, and a third in (a) where the tertiary sector increases in importance. The units in (d) indicate that three components contribute less than 50 per cent to the total working population.

Between Rationality and Value Judgments Those Non-Free-riders of Taxi-cabs

On the basis of the phasing of capital expenditures to be incurred on projects sanctioned assistance by the term lending institutions up to the end of 1983, the investment in the private corporate sector in 1984 is estimated to be around Rs 1,685 crore.To this, about Rs 750 to Rs 800 crore may be added as the likely investment in projects to be sanctioned during 1984 itself. (In the total investment in 1983, around Rs 763 crore came from projects sanctioned in 1983 itself.) Another Rs 400 crore of investment could be estimated to be financed under the bill rediscounting scheme of the IDBI. Thus the total investment in the private corporate sector jean be expected to be in the range of Rs 2.835 crore to Rs 2,885 crore in 1984, as against Rs 2,630 crore in 1983. In other words, the investment in the corporate sector is likely to show an increase of 8 to 10 per cent in nominal terms in

Distribution of Education among Income Groups

Income Groups Jandhyala B G Tilak COMMENTING on my paper (August 13. 1983) K R Shah (October I, 1983) raised several issues, some of which require detailed response. However. I would also like to briefly discuss the other points raised In him.

Money Puzzles

Contributed A SORT of 'shadow-boxing' is in progress in the 'money puzzles' arena (February 4, p 183; March 3, P 381; March 31, p 537). There is obviously a wide information gap which is sought to he covered up by rhetorical flourishes. It is necessary, therefore, to begin with certain basics' The money multiplier theory suggests that when primary money

The Communists, the Congress and the Anti-Colonial Movement

The Communists, the Congress and the Anti-Colonial Movement Bipan Chandra Mridula Mukherjee Sashi Joshi Aditya Mukherjee Bhagwan Josh Lajpat Jagga SUMANTA BANERJEE's review of "The Indian Left" (EPW, February 18, 1984) needs to be rebutted for several reasons; he has; often misrepresented or distorted what the authors represented in the book have said; what is more important, in other instances, despite his bantering tone and the inadequacy of historical knowledge, a serious argument is involved which deserves to be carried forward, for some of the major weaknesses of the left today lie in its polities and theory

Sociology of Bride-Price and Dowry

Sociology of Bride-Price and Dowry Shalini Randeria Leela Visaria THIS article is provoked by Indira Rajaraman's article on the 'Economics of Bride-Price and Dowry', which appeared in these columns, and by the discussion which followed it (February 19, April 9. June 4, Sepember 3-10 and November 19, 1983). Neither Rajaiaman, who seeks to build an economic model of the presumed switch of "entire endogamous groups from a bride-price to a dowry system" (our italics), nor her critics provide any empirical data in support of their generalisations. On the basis of our data from north Gujarat. we have serious doubts about Rajaraman's premise that entire sub-castes had a bride- price system in the past, and have given it up in favour of a dowry system now Our interpretation of the census and the NSS data seems to invalidate her other premise that there has been a significant decline in female participation in the labour force. We also fail to see the causal relationship between these two premises as is sought to be established in Rajaraman's model First, we attempt to understand the terms 'bride-price' and 'dowry' which have been left undefined by all contributors to the discussion so far. We then turn to our own field work data on the scheduled castes of North Gujarat (We feel free to do so, because Rajaraman's model is neither region nor caste-specific .) Finally we look at the labour force data from the censuses as well as the National Sample Surveys and try to assess whether there has been any significant change in female participation in the labour force. In our view, the observed decline is an artifact to the definitional changes in the concept of work, which make the 1961, 1971 and 1981 census data non- comparable.

Fertility Decline in Kerala-Social Justice Hypothesis

Fertility Decline in Kerala Social Justice Hypothesis PGK Panikar RATCLIFFE's formulation of the social justice (equity-fertility) hypothesis in his attempt to explain Kerala's fertility decline had a weak empirical basis, as brought out by Moni Nag in his recent paper (EPW, January 7, 1981). Nag has chosen to test the equity-fertility hypothesis by comparing Kerala with West Bengal, the State which is pretty similar with respect to the factors governing fertility according to this hypothesis. It is found that while the distribution of income and assets in Kerala is more skewed than in West Bengal the opposite is the case with respect to social service like education and health. Nag, therefore, concludes: "A comparative study of Kerala and West Bengal suggests that the higher decline of fertility in Kerala is associated more with greater equity in education and health facilities than with greater equity in income and assets." (p 40) Thus, the main difference between Ratcliffe and Nag seems to be in the choice of the parameters for the empirical verification of the equity-fertility hypothesis; according to Nag, equity in the distribution of income should also include the access to social services such as education and health. However, even this modified version does not capture all the factors which moti- vate parents in opting for fewer children. Ratcliffe refers, in passing though, to the alternative hypothesis suggested by Libenstein (1957). and Schultz (1981) according to which fertility declies in response to the decrease in the benefits and increase in the costs of children, thanks to economic development and the associated changes. Nag himself (1980), in his extensive review of the literature on fertility response to modernisation under Easterlies 'synthesis' framework, has highlighted this aspect. Thus, the demand for children is governed by (i) labour value of children, (ii) children's value as old age support and risk insurance, (3) economic costs of children, and (4) infant and child mortality. The process of modernisation in this context comprehends economic growth and its concomitant changes, including shifts in the sectoral shares of output and labour force, participation of women in work out side their homes, urbanisation, progress in educaton and health, emergence of social security system, regulation of child labour, compulsory education, etc. These changes get reflected in the progressive erosion of the value ol children as sources of current income and old age support and security. On the other hand, with modern- isatioiu the costs of bearing and rear- ing children tend to increase. The fall in infant and child mortality rates ensures the survival of the desired number of children. (The decrease in the benefits and increase in the costs of children motivate parents to adopt family planning leading to fall in fertility. It is these changes affecting the motivations of parents that set in motion the last phase of the demographic transition in today's low-fertility countries. We shall argue in this note that in the case of Kerala also, it is the change in parental attitudes and motivations, thanks to the altered benefit- cost ratio of children, which stimulated increasing acceptance of birth control resulting in the rather sharp and rapid fall in fertility.

Role of Industries in Agroforestry

Development Shankar Ranganathan ALTHOUGH much has been said about reducing rural poverty, India's biggest problem, little has actually been done in this direction and that little seems to have only benefited the rich. Social forestry, also known as farm forestry or agroforestry, appears to offer a practical solution to rural poverty. A number of such projects could be started soon if land for them was made available. Nearly a hundred million hectares of degraded and, now lying useless could, if properly managed, be made to produce a variety of materials in great demand and in doing so, would employ a larger number of rural people at present unemployed or underemployed* It would also improve the environment. But social forestry is not gaining momentum except in the number of seminars about it So it may be worth investigating why this activity, which has so much potential, has not progressed beyond verbiage.

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