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BDS Current Issue Volume XLIlI, September-December 2020, Nos. 3&4

Do Land Market Restrictions Hinder Structural Change in a Rural Economy? Evidence from Sri Lanka

Author: M. Shahe Emran and Forhad Shilpi

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This paper investigates the effects of land market restrictions on structural change from agriculture to non-agriculture in a rural economy. A model with higher migration costs due to land restrictions identifies the possibility of a reverse structural change where the share of non-agricultural employment declines. For identification, this paper exploits a natural experiment in Sri Lanka, where historical malaria played a unique role in land policy. The evidence indicates significant adverse effects of land restrictions on manufacturing and services employment. Land restrictions increase wage employment in agriculture but reduce it in manufacturing and services, with no effects on self-employment in non-agriculture.

Does Fuel Pricing Affect Males and Females Differently? Evidence from Kerosene Using Households in Rural Bangladesh

Author: Tahreen Tahrima Chowdhury and K.A.S. Murshid

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Energy sector reform, particularly the pricing of fuel and its gender-differentiated impacts, is rarely studied in the literature on energy and gender. This empirical study examines whether energy pricing has differential consequences for men and women with regard to kerosene oil use in rural Bangladesh. Specifically, the variables under focus are the duration of the study, duration of night-time leisure and time spent on income-generating activities. A household survey with 630 kerosene using rural households has been conducted in eight districts of Bangladesh. Apart from OLS estimation, we also use IV to address the endogeneity embedded in the model. The study finds that higher kerosene prices have a gender-differentiated effect on study duration, night-time leisure duration and time spent on income-generating activities in the context of household use of lighting fuel. Females are more adversely affected by higher kerosene prices in terms of study duration and night-time leisure hours. The effort to offset these losses by increasing effort on income-generating activities is less successful for women than men.

Livelihood Diversity of Forcibly Displaced Rohingyas Encamped in Bangladesh

Author: Mohammad Mainul Hoque and Mohammad Yunus

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This paper assesses the livelihood strategies of the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals encamped in Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh. Although the predominant source of livelihood of the encamped Rohingya households is supposed to be various sources of assistance and transfer receipts, almost 76 per cent of them report positive income from various sources, including farm activities, enterprises, labour market, remittance, and non-food transfers, despite restrictions on mobility and income generation through employment. While a few of the sources dampen income inequality, others exacerbate it. Similarly, while several factors facilitate participation in income generation both at the extensive and intensive margins, a few others appear to hinder the process. Both the diversity and the level of income appear to be higher for households in the old wave (arrived before 25 August 2017) compared to that in the new wave (arrived after 25 August 2017), possibly due to better integration and adaptation to the local environment and context. The encamped Rohingya households with supplementary earned income and receipts rather than exclusively depending on WFP assistance enjoy relatively better well-being, at least in terms of higher expenditure and dietary diversity. The evidence on the impact of earned income and receipts on household well-being indicators reinforces their appeal for the right to work.

The Lived Dystopia of the Rohingya: Liminalisation, Demonisation, and Expulsion

Author: Mohammad Golam Nabi Mozumder

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The prospect and willingness of the Rohingyas to repatriate are, by and large, conditioned by their past experience of living in Myanmar. Discussions on repatriating the Rohingyas are likely to fail not because they are unwilling to return but mainly because of the lack of reasonable initiatives to address the deep-rooted animosity against the minority group prevalent in the country they had to flee. This paper analyses the findings of the 50 in-depth interviews of the refugees encamped in Cox’s Bazar. It presents ten instances of injustice, nine examples of forced payments, and systemic discrimination against the Rohingyas in Myanmar. Twenty-eight per cent of the respondents reported that at least one family member or relative was killed during the atrocities in 2017. The study finds that not all Buddhists participated in the attack against the Rohingyas; some reportedly helped the victims find safe shelter. The Rohingyas in Bangladesh suffer from an insufficient supply of relief during the last days of a relief distribution cycle. To survive, they take loans and seek illegal ways for finding employment outside the camp. While awaiting the perpetrators to be brought to justice, some Rohingyas remain optimistic about a peaceful return to their home country. And others are scared of even thinking of going back to the places where they witnessed both their homes and hopes burnt into ashes. Besides proposing two short-term measures— “burden-sharing” and “internal flight alternative”—this paper underscores the need for a novel approach in finding a durable solution to the problem.

Multimorbidity among Women of Reproductive Age in Desertified and Degraded Districts of India

Author: A.D. Manikandan, Sayeed Unisa and M.P. Praveenkumar

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Multimorbidity or co-morbidity is defined as the co-occurrence of two or more chronic conditions in an individual. This paper analyses the prevalence of multimorbidity among women of reproductive age in backward districts of India. Multivariate linear regression is applied using the enter method to study factors independently associated with multimorbidity in women of reproductive age (15 and 49 years) in 75 desertified and degraded districts of India. Separate regressions are performed for women in both the rural and urban areas. The findings of the study reveal that the weighted prevalence of multimorbidity among reproductive women is 17.2 per cent. Further, regression analyses show that, among all explanatory variables, ageing and high income strongly affect multimorbidity among women aged between 15 and 49 years. However, the adverse effects of land degradation on multimorbidity could not be confirmed.

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