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BDS Current Issue Volume VI, No. 1, 1978

Hand Pump Irrigation in Bangladesh: A Comment

Author: M.A.S. Mandal

Measurement of Rural Unemployment : A Disaggregative Approach

Author: Rushidan Islam Rahma

Money Demand Functions: Some Specification Issues Analyzed by International Comparisons

Author: Lawrence Gomes &

Should Bangladesh Participate in an International Buffer Stocking Arrangement for Raw Jute?

Author: Sadiq Ahmed

This paper has examined the case for Bangladesh being a party to an international buffer stocking arrangement for raw jute. The need for international buffer stock is established on the basis of two results. First, it has been found that magnitude of price and export value fluctuations are quite severe. And second, further examination has shown that supply fluctuations mainly have caused price and value fluctuation. It has also been pointed out that although buffer stock has important implications for long term viability of raw jute as a source of foreign exchange earning, it is basically a short term measure. Implementation of additional measures, involving both domestic policies and cooperation from importing countries in respect of removal of trade barriers, has to be ensured for keeping raw jute alive as a source of foreign exchange earnings for quite sometimes to come.

Choice of Ground Water Irrigation Technology in Bangladesh

Author: Lawrence M. Hannah

This study compares three alternative ground water technologies in terms of their economic and social appropriateness for Bangladesh. A modified form of social cost-benefit analysis is applied to the three technologies : hand pump tubewells, shallow tubewells (0.5 cusec) and deep tubewells (2 cusec). The methodology is limited to costs which means that the results can be used for ranking purposes only. The calculation of standard unit costs is subject to sensitivity tests on the price for unskilled labour (pumping), the value of foreign exchange, the lifetime of capital goods and variations in command areas. The results emphasize the economic dominance of power pumping technology when labour is shadow priced at one-half or less of the current wage. The ranking of technologies is also not at all sensitive to the price of foreign exchange. The report emphasizes that attention needs to be paid to institutional-social questions as well as the technical considerations in order to avoid selecting a technology which has no potential for productivity increases. 

Reasons for Idle Capital : The Case of Bangladesh Manufacturing

Author: Rizwanul Islam

This paper makes an attempt to understand the causes of low capital utilization in the manufacturing industries of Bangladesh. After providing a short summary of the theories which have been advanced to explain the idleness of capital, the empirical implications of a major theoretical work by Marris is brought out in the form of some estimating equations. Of the variables included in these equations only firm size appears to have a significant impact on utilization in the case of Bangladesh. This led to a search for alternative explanations of the phenomenon of low capital utilization. Supply bottlenecks created by the shortage of key inputs like raw materials and spare parts (especially imported ones), skilled manpower, etc. are found to be quite important. The availability of raw materials and spare parts (both domestic and imported) explain nearly 77 per cent of the variation in capital utilization. It is argued that the policy of import licensing, project-bias of foreign aid, overvaluation of the currency giving rise to the practice of overinvoicing have encouraged the creation of additional idle capacity. Finally, the evidence of any relationship between utilization and the use to which the product of a particular industry is put is also weak.

Trade, Output and Employment: A Case Study of Bangladesh

Author: Sadrel Reza

This paper focuses attention on the output and employment potential of alternative trade strategies for the industrial economy of Bangladesh. The analysis involves two basic stages. At stage I, the input requirements of the various industrial sectors of the economy are estimated in an input-output framework. At stage II, the comparative factor intensities of export expansion and import substitution as calculated in the simple Leontief tradition, from which estimates the output and employment implications of trade in manufactures are then directly deduced. The findings in this study indicate that the industrial exports and import substitutes of Bangladesh do not differ significantly in their implications for (unskilled) labour employment. Export promotion, however, is likely to have a considerably higher output potential, for a given amount of investible resource, as compared to a policy of import substitution.

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