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BDS Current Issue Volume XLI, December 2018, Number 4

Benefits of Improved Cook Stoves: Evidence from Rural Bangladesh


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Reduction of biomass fuel consumption, improved health outcomes of household members and time savings for households are the key intended benefits of Improved Cook Stove (ICS). This paper attempts an empirical verification of these targeted benefits of the ICS, named Bondhu Chula, in ruralBangladesh. Propensity score matching (PSM), a quasi-experimenteconometric method, has been applied using the 2018 household survey data of Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) that collected information from 600 users of Bondhu Chula and 396 users of traditional cook stoves. The analysis reveals that the use of Bondhu Chula on the averagesaves about 50 kg of biomass fuel consumption per month per household, i.e. 30-37 per cent of biomass fuel consumption compared to households using traditional cook stoves. Bondhu Chula was also found to have provided improved health outcomes by reducing indoor air pollution and led to reduced household cooking time. Despite the observed benefits of the use of ICS, the progress towards the adoption of ICS across the country is not satisfactory and there is a large opportunity to scale-up the use of ICS. The evidence provides justification for such a policy move.  

New Evidence on Outcomes of Primary Education Stipend Programme in Bangladesh


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Primary Education Stipend Project, a conditional cash transfer programme, has been in operations since 2003 to increase attendance rate and stem the dropout rate of children from poor and vulnerable households in the rural areas of Bangladesh. This paper evaluates the behavioural impact of conditionality and gender targeting of transfer of fund on the direct and latent outcomes using propensity score estimation method based on a sample of 2,500 households with primary school going children from 125 primary education institutions. Results reveal that the transfer entails an income effect on the share of educational expenses and channeling the stipend through mothers of the students does not directly empower them as women but does empower them as mothers. It appears that two different but mutually reinforcing stimuli—income effect and women educational empowerment effect—lead to favourable educational outcomes of the recipient students. 

Impact of Capital Controls on Foreign Direct Investment in Asia: A Panel Analysis


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This paper investigates the impact of restrictive capital policy on foreign direct investment. During twentieth century and onwards most of the developing countries and commonly the Asian countries had at least one or more capital control policy in place. Thus, a thorough analysis of the impact of such restrictions bears significant importance, especially in the determination of foreign capital flow. The main objective of this paper is to identify the impact that these capital control policies have on the foreign capital flow in the Asian countries. The analysis is pursued with the data from 16 developing countries of Asia for the period 2000-2017. Quantitative results are obtained using a fixed-effect regression with the inclusion of several economic indicators. The results suggest that, during this period, freeing restrictions from export proceeds, liberalisation of personal capital account transactions and removal of control on the liquidation of foreign capital significantly increased the flow of foreign direct investment into these Asian countries.

One Sunshine Doth Not a Harvest Make: An Examination of the Growth Momentum in Bangladesh


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This paper revisits the issues and trends observed in M.G. Quibria’s new book (Quibria 2019) and attempts to re-examine and interpret the recent episodes of economic growth in Bangladesh, both in its quantity and, to a lesser extent, in its quality. Indeed, current estimates appear to put Bangladesh as the growth leader of South Asia. Touching the 8 per cent threshold, the recent growth pace has led to a significant reduction in poverty, a modest increase in inequality, and major advances in pertinent social and human indicators. Under what scenarios may the recent growth momentum survive and continue to unleash further growth in the quest toward reaching the higher middle-income status in the next several decades? We evaluate the task at hand in the context of innovations both in the proximate sources of growth (namely, accumulation of human and physical capital and in total factor productivity TFP) and in institutional capital. The paper also briefly touches on concerns raised in the current growth and development literature of the looming challenges of future growth slowdown as experienced by countries failing to overcome the “middle-income trap” and falling prey to “premature de-industrialisation” at income levels much lower than the early growth leaders of the past century.   

Quantifying Postharvest Losses of Tomato:A Farm Level Study in Selected Areas of Bangladesh


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Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.) is a popular vegetable in Bangladesh. The quality of tomato depends on its pre and postharvest operations. This paper reports on postharvest losses of tomato in four intensive tomato growing villages of Jamalpur and Rangpur districts of Bangladesh. Quantitative and qualitative postharvest losses were measured using descriptive and inferential statistics. It is revealed from the study that farmer harvested tomato at half ripe condition (40.3 per cent) in order to take the advantage of long shelf life and 64 per cent of them use plastic crate for packaging and transportation purposes. Irrespective of using traditional human pulling rickshaw or van, tomato farmerswere using motor driving van (27.8 per cent) and rickshaw (20.8 per cent) to carry their product in the market. Farm level postharvest loss of tomato was 12.5 per cent, of which 8.9 per cent was due to full damage and the rest 3.6 per cent was due to partial damage of tomato. Rotten due to physical damage and disease followed by insect infestation were the major causes of postharvest loss in the survey area. Due to postharvest losses farmers have to incur financial loss of Tk. 152.5 per decimal of tomato cultivation. Factors like total harvested amount, family member, training and selling price of tomato were the main determinants of postharvest loss in the survey area. Lower prices, absence of tomato storage, white fly and viral infection were the most noteworthy problems in tomato cultivation. Developing proper storage system, fair price and efficient disease management are necessary to minimize farm level postharvest loss of tomato.

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