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BDS Current Issue Volume XXXV September 2012 Number 3

Public and Private Consumption in Bangladesh: An Empirical Assessment

Author: MIR NAHID MAHMUD* MANSUR AHMED**

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The relationship between government and household consumption is one of the contentious issues in both theory and empirics although this has significant implications in fiscal policy. The empirical studies on the relationship between government and household consumption provide contrasting results. The present study examines public-private consumption relationship in the Bangladesh economy using the cointegration and error correction modeling approaches to tackle the problem of non-stationary data. Two different variants of cointegration technique have been employed and in both cases a valid long run positive relationship is found. However, the error correction model finds an inverse relationship between the two in the short run. In general, the findings go with the Barro-Ricardian equivalence hypothesis of government spending that household consumption is unrelated to government consumption decision in the long-run. 

Does Workforce Participation Empower Women? Micro-Level Evidence from Urban Bangladesh

Author: MOHAMMAD A. HOSSAIN* CLEMENT A. TISDELL** TONMOYEE HASAN AYON***

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Empirical studies on the impact of women’s paid jobs on their empowerment and welfare in Bangladesh are mostly confined to the garment workers. Besides, these studies seldom control for non-working women and/or apply any statistical techniques to control for the effects of other pertinent determinants of women’s empowerment and welfare. This study overcomes these drawbacks and presents alternative assessments of the link between women’s workforce participation and empowerment on the basis of survey data from the two largest cities in Bangladesh. While the generic assessment indicates that women’s paid jobs have positive implications for women’s participation in decisions on fertility, children’s education and health care as well as their possession and control of resources, the econometric assessment negates most of these observations. Women’s education, on the other hand, appears to be more important than their participation in the labour force. The study argues that by omitting other relevant explanatory variables from the analysis, the previous studies might have overestimated the impact of women’s paid work on their empowerment.

Spatial Dimensions of Income Inequality and Poverty in Bangladesh: An Analysis of the 2005 and 2010 Household Income and Expenditure Survey Data

Author: KAZI ARIF UZ ZAMAN* TAKAHIRO AKITA**

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sing 2005 and 2010 Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) data, the paper examines income inequality and poverty in Bangladesh with focus on their spatial dimensions. As disparity among administrative divisions is small, such inequalities, especially in the urban areas, need policy attention. As education appears to play an important role in increasing urban inequality, raising the level of general education is essential. Similarly, wages and salaries contribute to mitigating inequality which points to expanding opportunities for earning formal incomes. Though the effects are likely to be small, transfer programmes may be expanded to raise incomes among the poorest. In addition to raising general educational level, it is necessary to provide primary education throughout the country in order to mitigate poverty. It is imperative to raise agricultural productivity in both rural and urban sectors. Furthermore, non-agricultural activities should be promoted according to the pattern of comparative advantages.

Market Structure and Performance of Bangladesh Banking Industry: A Panel Data Analysis

Author: MD MOSTAK AHAMED

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The study examines the degree of concentration and performance of the Bangladesh banking industry for the period 1999-2011 by using the random effects (RE) estimator. It applies two competing hypotheses of the traditional industrial organisation theory e.g. the structure conduct performance (SCP) paradigm and efficient structure hypothesis (ESH) to investigate the relationship between the concentration and competition in the banking sector. The results of the main sample (1999-2011) do not find any support for either of the hypotheses. However, a sub-sample (2002-2011) of the study supports the SCP hypothesis that the profitability of Bangladesh banking market is determined by concentration and not by the market share of banks. It implies that concentration lowers the cost of collusion between banks and results in higher than normal profits for all market participants. Bank performance is positively associated with capitalisation, liquidity and assets size of the banks. The ownership variable suggests that government-owned banks are less profitable than other commercial banks in the market. 

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