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

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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.

The Cost-Benefit Analysis Dilemma: Strategies and Alternatives

Cost-benefit analysis has on the one hand been enlisted by decision-makers around the world as a way of justifying or scrutinising choices about whether to build dams, road, airports; what actions to take on global warming or biodiversity; to determine damages from oil spills; or redesign automobiles for safety. At the same time, grass roots opponents have contested the ways in which the technique values lands and natural resources, its neglect of equity issues and its incompatibility with many forms of reasoned negotiation. Engaged intellectuals have argued that the technique does not clarify but obscures rational deliberative processes involving plural values and is based on deeply controversial political theory. A conference held at Yale University in October 1999 brought together diverse professionals in an effort to better understand the nature of conflicts that CBA creates and how to cope with the political challenges posed by it. Presented here is a review of the proceedings followed by a selection of papers read and discussed at the conference.

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.

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.

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.

Creating Successful New Products

Firms in emerging markets face unique problems in new product development such as limited purchasing power, high price sensitivity, limited design skills and experience, lack of qualified vendors and inappropriate engineering resources. This article discusses these problems and suggests questions for further research.

Performance of Corporate Sector, 1996-97

An analysis of the performance of the corporate sector in 1996-97 indicates that there is scope for expanding equity capital and reducing dependency on capital based on loans and borrowings.

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