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

MethodologySubscribe to Methodology

COVID-19 and Population Density

The article explores various methodologies of estimating the relation between population density and COVID-19 cases to suggest that deaths per million may not be a sound indicator as a guide to public policy. It also infers that population density alone may not suffice to explain the spread of the virus. Social and living conditions could play a more dominant role in explaining the spread.

Is Periodic Labour Force Survey, 2017–18 Comparable with Employment–Unemployment Survey, 2011–12?

Towards improving the existing system of collecting data on socio-economic parameters, the National Sample Survey Office introduced the Periodic Labour Force Survey in 2017–18 by replacing its previous quinquennial rounds on the employment–unemployment situation. There has been a significant restructuring of the previously existing questionnaire, survey methodology, and inquiry schedule. The advantages of the new PLFS data are listed, and inputs for further improvements are provided.

Decoding the Million Death Study

The lack of reliable, cause-specific mortality statistics is considered a major obstacle to the improvement of public health in many low- and middle-income countries. Researchers and government officials in India have set up the Million Death Study to address this situation. First, how the study produces quantitative estimates of the burden of mortality in India is explored by collecting symptomatic data, using that data for diagnostic purposes, and aggregating those diagnoses into an overview of mortality in India. Second, the limitations of the perspective on public health based on discrete and specific diseases that result from this approach are addressed. Numbers alone cannot solve the public health issues India faces, rather cognitive justice towards a broader range of perspectives on major public health problems is required to develop effective political interventions.

Child Undernutrition in India

The child undernutrition estimates from the Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey, 2016–18 reveal that many Indian states have made substantial decline, reversing their poor past record in wasting, ranging from 7 to 14 percentage points within just 30 months. Is it really possible to make such a large decline in such a short span of time? Or, does this point to an anomaly in data or estimation?

Means to Augment Human Well-being

Post-growth Thinking in India: Towards Sustainable Egalitarian Alternatives edited by Julien-François Gerber and Rajeswari S Raina , Hyderabad: Orient BlackSwan, 2018; pp xxii + 365, ₹ 1,075 .

Charting Contemporary Sociology

Towards a New Sociology in India edited by Mahuya Bandyopadhyay and Ritambhara Hebbar, Hyderabad: Orient Blackswan, 2016; pp x + 266, ₹ 850.

Changing Dynamics of Inflation in India

Using the latest consumer price index (combined) series, it is found that the dynamics underlying India’s inflationary process have changed substantially. Significant reduction found in the inflation persistence reflects anchoring of inflationary expectations. Moreover, it is the headline inflation that reverts to the core and not vice versa, as was assumed so far. It implies the absence of any significant second-round effects. These features need to be taken into account for any policy analysis. Attempting to forecast inflation using various econometric techniques, it is found that a combination of alternative models based on mean square errors improves forecast accuracy as compared to any individual model.

On Methodology and Methods

Research Methodology: Logic, Methods, and Cases by Sameer S Phanse, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2016; pp xxx + 727, ₹ 625 (paperback).

Inflation with Disinflation?

Price inflation in India as measured by the Wholesale Price Index and the Consumer Price Index has shown diverging trends. While WPI indicates a disinfl ationary situation for 16 months, CPI indicates inflation. Explaining the construction of the two indices, the trends of subgroups of both indices are presented. It is found that the different sample sizes and weightages of commodity groups of both indices and price interventions in the market explains, at least in part, this odd situation of infl ation along with disinfl ation.

Continuous Revisions Cast Doubts on GDP Advance Estimates

Two recent press releases by the Central Statistics Office substantially revise the new series of National Accounts Statistics. The new releases are more than just routine updates, and entail methodological changes and incorporate new sources of data, perhaps in response to various critiques. Yet, on comparing the advance estimates released with past such estimates, the CSO's latest growth projections once again turn out to be far too optimistic.

On Subjectivity in Mathematical Economics

The rapid rise in the use of mathematics in economics has often been attributed to a search for objective rigour. But if we look beyond individual models to the overall practice of mathematical economics the role that subjective judgments play becomes quite evident. This paper looks at the response to this subjectivity and addresses the issue of the quality of subjective judgments in mathematical economics.

Indian Democracy, Positively Viewed

Culture and Rationality: The Politics of Social Change in PostColonial India by Subrata K Mitra; Sage Publications, New Delhi, 1999; Rs 525, pp 438.
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