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BDS Current Issue Volume XLII, December 2019, Number 4

Employment and Unemployment amongst Educated Youth in Bangladesh: An Exploratory Analysis

Author: K A S Murshid, Tanveer Mahmood And Nahian Azad Shashi

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This is an exploratory exercise that attempts to identify the potential for carrying out online socio-economic surveys in Bangladesh, taking the question of “educated unemployment” as a test case. The topic is of great interest not just in Bangladesh but also throughout South Asia and beyond, where the issue is of particular concern in the context of rapid growth and rising aspirations amongst young people. Most studies depend either on own data generation or periodic national level surveys like the Labour Force Surveys (LFS). The former consists of small datasets, while the latter have a limited number of relevant variables available for analysis. Thus, easier access to larger datasets with better coverage of variables would be a highly welcome additional resource for researchers and policymakers. It was, in fact, possible to rapidly generate a large volume of data using an online platform (Facebook) for this exercise. The data validation approach used here is to compare findings with those reported in the wider literature. In general, the results obtained from the online survey appear both reasonable and defensible. The estimates of educated unemployment are consistent with other available estimates. The relationship of unemployment to education, gender and location is similar to those reported in the literature. The effect of “control” variables like family size, age and family income was as expected. In particular, family income (reflecting family influence) emerged as a powerful predictor. The study was also able to throw light on two other aspects of the labour market, including duration of unemployment and salary levels. 

Age and Education Effects in the First Demographic Dividend of Bangladesh: A Decomposition Analysis


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The paper attempts to examine the economic effect of changing age structure in Bangladesh in the demographic dividend while being cautious of aggregation bias. One of the major contributions of this paper to the estimation of the demographic dividend literature is its use of a disaggregated dataset to produce a representative estimation of demographic dividend and compare among different education groups. The findings of the paper shed light on the debate on the sources of the first demographic dividend—whether this dividend comes from a pure age structure factor or represents an education dividend. When the economic profiles are disaggregated by levels of education, the Economic Support Ratio (ESR) decreases compared to the estimates when it only classified by ages. After estimating the first demographic dividend, the paper disaggregates the dividend into education effect and age effect using the Das Gupta decomposition technique. Results show that the size of the dividend is driven largely by age effects, while the education effect has been negative in Bangladesh for the past decades. The negative education effect indicates the aggregation bias in the estimates of support ratio if data is not disaggregated at that level.     

Stylized Facts of the Statistical Properties of Risk and Return of the Dhaka Stock Exchange: 1991-2015


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While the role of financial market, particularly the stock market, in promoting economic growth through efficient allocation of capital is well recognised, the investors of the developing economies have little knowledge about the return and risk of the markets they operate in. To this end, we compile a security level historical data for the period 1991-2015 for Dhaka Stock Exchange and identify some important stylized facts about the return and risk. Descriptive statistics of disaggregated stock data suggest that while the daily rate of returns swing up and down over decades, the volatility tends to increase over time. Manufacturing stocks outperform other sectors both in return and volatility. Similarly, older stocks earn better return with lesser risks than the newer stocks. Several standard tests confirm that the distribution of daily returns is not normal; it does not follow random walk and the market is not efficient. Overall, there is a risk return trade-off and this trade-off varies significantly with sectors, age and quality of the stocks.

Crop Diversification, Dietary Diversity and Nutrition: Evidence from Rural Bangladesh


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Using two rounds of nationally representative Bangladesh Integrated Household Survey (BIHS 2011-12 and 2015) data and Fixed Effects model, this study explores the linkages among household crop diversification, household dietary diversity and per capita nutrients intake of households. This study finds that households with higher crop diversification are more likely to diversify their consumption. In addition, there is a significant association between dietary diversity and per capita intake of calorie, protein, iron, zinc and vitamin A among farm households. Therefore, increasing crop diversification helps increase dietary diversity and dietary diversity, in turn, would decrease macro and micro nutrient deficiencies in Bangladesh. 

Social Conditions of the Innovative Use of Smartphone: A Qualitative Investigation among Young Users in Dhaka


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Concerns about the adverse impacts of using smartphones  are common in the literature. However, there is insufficient research on whether users make innovative use of the device. If they do, what is the nature of the creative use of smartphone? What are the social conditions that facilitate the innovative use of the smart device? This study seeks to answer these questions by investigating the use of smartphone among teenagers in Dhaka. The respondents of this research are purposively selected from the secondary schools located in five different areas of Dhaka city. Snowballing technique was used to identify the forty-four avid users. Findings of the study show that respondents employ innovative strategies of escaping supervision: Installing software, e.g., AppsLock, Gallery Lock, and CM Security; using password; and blocking parents and relatives on social media—“totally black-listed.” They also read books using Gutenberg Apps and go online to learn how to wear hijab “smartly.” Advance users heavily use smartphone to learn software programming, prepare science projects, and do photography for presenting at art exhibitions. Most importantly, the study identified three facilitating conditions of the creative use of smartphone: Friends, events, and parents. These social conditions constitute an ecosystem that facilitates the innovative dispositions of the young users of smartphones.

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