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BDS Current Issue Volume XXXVII September 2014 Num. 3

Poverty and Exclusion of Minorities in China and India

Author: A S Bhalla and Dan Luo Quazi Shahabuddin

Impacts of Granular Urea and Efficiency of Resource Use in MV Paddy Production: A Case Study of Jessore District

Author: Basanta Kumar Barmon & Sushanta Kumar Tarafder

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Granular urea is technologically and physically modified normal urea that is used in MV paddy production in Bangladesh. The present study estimates the impact of granular urea and efficiency of resource use in MV paddy production in Bangladesh using primary data. Shimlagachi village of Sharsha upazila in Jessore district was purposively selected because a large number of farmers use granular urea along with traditional urea in MV paddy production. The findings of the study indicate that significantly less amount of granular urea is required per hectare for MV boro and aman paddy production than traditional urea. Moreover, the yield of MV boro and aman paddy is markedly higher with application of granular urea. On average, production cost per hectare of MV boro and aman paddy cultivation is less with application of granular urea. Consequently, net profit is significantly higher. The results of Cobb-Douglas production function, marginal value products (MVPs) and marginal factor cost (MFC) ratio tests show that the farmers do not use inputs efficiently and optimally in MV boro and aman paddy cultivation. They use more granular urea than traditional urea in MV boro paddy cultivation.

Commercial Banks' Investment in Capital Market and Its Impact on Private Sector Credit

Author: Kazi Iqbal & Mir Ariful Islam

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The period 2007-2010 is marked by boom and bust in the stock market, greater capital market investment by banks, higher profits of the banking sector and fall in growth of credit to the private sector in Bangladesh. In this backdrop, using bank level data for the period 1990-2009, the study examines the impact of banks’ greater investment in capital market on the expansion of private sector credit. Descriptive statistics shows that medium sized banks have much higher investment in capital market than the small and large banks. The investment in capital market is also higher for the 2nd generation banks and banks with merchant banks and brokerage houses. Both OLS and fixed effect results provide strong indication that banks’ greater investment in the capital market crowded out private investment during 2000-2009. The results show that 1 per cent increase in banks’ capital market investment is associated with 0.006 per cent to 0.007 per cent decrease in banks’ credit to the private sector.  This crowding out effect is found to be more pronounced for the banks having merchant banks and brokerage wings.

Public Sector Microfinance and Rural Wellbeing:Evidence from BRDB

Author: Zulfiqar Ali & Mansur Ahmed

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The paper looks at the impact of public microfinance on rural wellbeing using primary household survey data with microfinance programmes of the Bangladesh Rural Development Board (BRDB) as the main focus. The paper uses propensity score matching (PSM) technique to evaluate the performance of BRDB’s programme. The result shows that programme households are better-off compared with the control households in terms of per-capita annual earnings and spending and cultivable land holding. However, the impact of BRDB’s microcredit on human capital is weak, as ATTs of spending on health and education, and average years of schooling become statistically insignificant after PSM was performed. The paper constructed composite indexes for human capital, livelihood, non-land asset and women empowerment; and finds that programme households are better-off in terms of all composite indexes except human capital index. Finally, the study looks at the poverty incidence among the programme households and finds that head count poverty rate is 24 per cent among programme households, while the corresponding poverty rate is 35 per cent among control households.

How Empowered are Bangladeshi Women in the Agricultural Setting? Empirical Evidence using a New Index

Author: Esha Sraboni, Agnes R Quisumbing & Akhter U Ahmed

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Using a nationally representative survey from Bangladesh, the paper presents how a recently developed index, Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI), can be used to assess the extent of women’s empowerment in agriculture and diagnose areas where gaps in empowerment exist so that programmes and policies can be targeted to those areas. While the paper focuses mainly on women’s empowerment, it also examines the gaps in and factors associated with men’s empowerment. The results show that about 77 per cent of rural women in Bangladesh is disempowered compared to around 56 per cent of men. It is also seen that empowerment gaps for women are greatest in terms of leadership in the community and control and access to resources. For men, time poverty and lack of leadership within the community contribute most to disempowerment. The analysis shows that the areas in which men and women are disempowered are quite different, with the implication that, depending on local context, different programmes and policies are needed to empower women and men alike. This, in turn, means that the policymakers will have to pay attention to regional differences in factors contributing to the lack of empowerment of women and men. Finally, although sizeable proportions of men and women are shown to be disempowered along a number of indicators, the fact remains that a larger proportion of women are disempowered relative to men within their households. Achieving gender equality thus remains an important policy goal in Bangladesh.

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