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BDS Current Issue Volume XXXV March 2012, Number 1

Swarnajayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojona as a Safety Net: Evidence from Murshidabad District of West Bengal


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This paper assesses the role of Swarnajayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojona (SGSY), a government sponsored microfinance programme, as a safety net. The initial survey was conducted in 2006 in Murshidabad District of West Bengal, India while the same households were surveyed again in 2008.  The results show that the programme is well designed to restrict the decline of transient poor or to uplift the chronic poor from below the poverty line. However, there are serious lacunas in implementing the programme. As a result, the SGSY programme as a safety net has failed to fully deliver anticipated benefits to the programme participants. The picture becomes worse if one measures the targeting efficiency of the programme. It is revealed that the “programme” suffers from both inclusion and exclusion errors. The study, however, suffers from the conventional errors of sampling and the limited time frame may not be adequate to measure the full efficacy of the programme. 

Adoption of Drip Irrigation System in India: Some Experience and Evidence


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In recognition of the importance of drip irrigation, the paper addresses two important issues: factors limiting or enhancing the adoption of drip irrigation systems, and policy actions needed at different levels to speed up the adoption of drip irrigation and groundwater development. The drip method of irrigation is found to have a significant impact on resources saving, cost of cultivation, yield of crops and farm profitability. The adoption of drip irrigation is significantly influenced by experience, farm size, proportion of wider spaced crops and participation in non-farm income activities. The policies should focus on promotion of drip irrigation in those regions where scarcity of water and labour is severe and where shift towards wider-spaced crops is taking place. 

Bilateral Export and Import Demand Functions of Bangladesh: A Cointegration Approach


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The past attempts to investigate whether the Marshall-Lerner condition is fulfilled by using aggregate data in Bangladesh suffer from aggregation bias. This paper estimates trade elasticities using bilateral data between Bangladesh and its major trading partners. The results, using data covering 1973-2009, confirm long run relationships of volumes of export and import with real exchange rate and real income. The study unveils that the Marshall-Lerner condition holds only in case of the United States. As such, the depreciation of real exchange rate may not be effective in improving the trade balance of Bangladesh in the long run. 

Why do Men Earn more than Women? An Analysis Using British Household Panel Survey


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The analysis of pay gap across gender is sensitive to the use of specific econometric techniques. While the estimates may reveal upward bias in case of exclusion of significant covariates, the use of inappropriate estimation techniques results in underestimation. Although some analysis shows that gender pay differential has been declining over time, controlling for significant economic variables, this study does not find supporting evidence to this hypothesis. Wage differential varies positively with pay levels in case of weekly pay, but this pattern does not prevail in case of hourly pay which accounts more for the discrimination from the employer’s side. 

Are Bangladesh's Recent Gains in Poverty Reduction Different from the Past?


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The poor in Bangladesh are more likely to belong to households with a larger number of dependents, lower education, engaged in daily wage labor, own little land and less likely to receive remittances. This poverty profile for 2005 is similar to those in the mid-1980s apparently indicating that little has changed over time. A closer look at the survey data, however, suggests a much more nuanced story. The paper uses two rounds of the Bangladesh Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) to decompose the micro-determinants of poverty reduction between 2000 and 2005 closely following similar analysis using earlier rounds of the HIES from the 1980s and 1990s. The comparison of results shows that the spatial distribution of poverty has changed over the three decades, the drivers of poverty reduction are different in several respects, and that policies to spur further reduction in poverty need to be adjusted in the light of these shifts over time.

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