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

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Academic Relations of Production and CBA

This paper begins with a discussion of three brief examples of the application versus non-application of cost-benefit analysis (CBA) or CBA-type approaches: the author's own early work on the comparative economics of community resource-use in south-east Asia; Michael Cernea's recent analysis of World Bank studies of resettlement; and thirdly, the ongoing debate in the US about national environmental accounting. The author examines the pattern of inter-disciplinary relations that is revealed in these examples, focusing on issues of differential inter-disciplinary prestige, inter-disciplinary borrowing, and the maturation cycles of inter-disciplinary fields. It conclude; with an examination, through parodies of CBA, of how emotional responses to boundary-crossing have led towards a partial and flawed vision of CBA and highlights the need to simultaneously both use and problematise CBA.

Markets and the Environment

The modern world has witnessed the introduction of markets mechanisms and norms into spheres of life that previously have been protected from markets. Non-market goods including the environment are being subjected to direct commodification or to the introduction of market norms. The appropriate response is to resist the disappearance of proper boundaries between the different spheres. Protection of environments is best served by resistance to the spread of commodity exchange and its norms and defending environmental goals in terms of established ethical, aesthetic, political and scientific standards.

World Commission on Dams

Dams have been the epitome of modernisation and development cornering a large share of public resources in many countries. It is only fair that dams are opened to public scrutiny and informed debate on performance, benefits and negative impacts. The World Commission on Dams (WCD) created to address the conflicting positions around the dams debate, gathered a wide cross section of information, experiences and perspectives to unfold the dams story to the public arena. Despite the diversity of views represented by the commissioners, the main conclusions of the WCD final report are consensual. What WCD has provided through its intensive consultative process and its final report is an impartial and informed basis for continued dialogue involving all stakeholders. Greater and more constructive engagement in the WCD process provides the opportunity to end acrimonious encounters, restore confidence of all stakeholders to reach a settlement and reaffirm their commitment and responsibility towards equitable and sustainable development.

Industrial Clusters under Duress

The industrial pump manufacturing cluster in Tamil Nadu's Coimbatore district has undergone a qualitative transformation under liberalisation. This survey study highlights changes in terms of economic performance; inter-firm linkages; subcontracting networks; commercial links; cooperation and competition between firms and the influence of local institutions. Most changes have resulted from macro-policy changes at a higher level.

R and D in Pharma Industry in Context of Biotech Commercialisation

R and D capabilities in modern biology have become a necessary prerequisite for enterprises that venture to exploit Biotechnology (BT) commercially. In this paper an attempt is made to study the capabilities in R and D in the Indian pharmaceutical industry in terms of magnitude and direction. An analysis based on 33 companies shows that some diversified companies are equally equipped to commercialise biotechnology as most of the dedicated biotech companies but this requires an organised effort by all interested parties, namely, research organisations, the state and the industry.

The Italian Puzzle

Nationalisation or privatisation is a policy response of the government to manage contemporary ideological, economic, industrial or political pressures on the country's economy. The pressures leading to nationalisations in Italy are different from those in the rest of west Europe and similar to the developing countries. The same applies to privatisations. This paper examines the experience of nationalisation and privatisation in Italy to draw lessons for developing countries.

Structure of Corporate Finance and Corporate Governance in India

A significant difference between the financial structure of firms in developing countries and those in developed countries is that the former are far less dependent on internal finance than the latter. Moreover, Indian firms depend far more heavily on external debt as a source of finance than do firms in advanced countries. This paper argues that an adequate explanation for this would need to weave in two central issues - the institutional structure of the banking sector with government guarantees of stability and viability and the oligopolistic nature of maturing firms that are attempting to dominate the market. An explanation for the structure of corporate finance must, apart from institutional issues, attempt to fathom why the firm as an issuer of securities would resort more to debt than equity. The structure of corporate finance in India is thus the result of a banking system that is protected against failure, oliogopolistic market structures with uncertainty regarding the demand for products. The financing strategy adopted by firms in such an environment, the author demonstrates, is part of an attempt to achieve market dominance.

Entrepreneurship by Regions and Castes

What changes in the economic and social conditions contribute to the emergence of entrepreneurship among communities? A brief survey of Indian entrepreneurship in terms of regional, caste and religious differentiation points to the need for further research into factors prompting entrepreneurial qualities among communities.

Emerging MNCs from China

Konka Group Company, China's best-selling colour television manufacturer, and several other large Chinese enterprises have been expanding overseas with considerable success in recent years. Like the Japanese and the Koreans who emerged as global players earlier, they have been helped along by exceptional support from domestic financial institutions, the adoption of facilitative policies by their government and fast assimilation of imported technologies. But whether or not China will be the next 'Asian tiger' remains to be seen.

Organisational Arrangement for Learning in Indian Firms

Based on a sample of firms - component suppliers to two major automotive manufacturers - in and around the National Capital Region (NIC) of Delhi, this study shows the variation in the learning ability, intention and effort, depended upon the strategy of the firm. The variation is also dependent on whether the firms want to be market leaders, followers or imitators. Depending upon the firm's strategy, efforts are made to build the firm's absorptive capacity. Tiny firms operate basically at the lower end of technology and hence learning is at the operational level and efforts are not made to retain humanpower. The linkage has, however, resulted in learning on productivity improvement through time, inventory and resource management. The firms that have joint ventures with buyers make special efforts to train and retain humanpower. They also have technological collaborations with world market leaders in their respective fields.

Inter-firm Relationship and Governance Structure

The paper analyses inter-firm relationship in the analytical framework of institutional economics, in particular transaction cost theory. It studies the governance structure of inter-firm relationship as an interaction between various agents, including the role of policy. Based on a case study of Bhilai Steel Plant and its ancillaries, it is argued that the governance structure evolves in the process of interaction, determined by the responses of agents to policy. Further, the realisation of policy objectives depends on the decisionmaking process and responses of agents. The paper emphasises on the shift of policy approach of treating the responses of economic agents as given and 'passive' to that of treating them as active.

Total Factor Productivity Growth in Developing Economies

Management of total factor productivity in developing economies remains, by and large, an unresolved problem despite industrialisation through efficient resource-use becoming a major objective of the economic reform programme. The present study attempts to open a solution channel by considering TFPG as a result of interaction between economies of scale and technical change. Thus, it seeks to lay emphasis on proper management of scale economies and technical change for producing a desired TFPG. For that purpose, estimation of TFPG is carried out with the help of translog cost function, which gives information on these two components simultaneously. The empirical findings of the exercise on data of aggregate manufacturing sector and eight selected industries of India indicate that both scale economies and technical change have registered a declining trend in recent years producing in the process a declining TFPG. There exists, therefore, a good case for prescribing policy measures that lead to better exploitation of economies of scale and technical change in India.

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