MCC Limited Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies
Show navigation Hide navigation
BIDS
Premier multi-disciplinary autonomous public research organization

BDS Current Issue Volume IX, No. 4, 1981

The World Jute Market

Author: Muhammad Mahmood &am

Abstract
The paper examines the labour force of the informal sector in Dhaka with respect to earnings, ability to save and invest, and attitudes and motivations. The findings indicate that involvement in informal activities is perceived as a means of altering the personal fortunes of people from a poor economic background. This is illustrated by the overwhelming preference of those self-employed in the sector to continue in current or similar activity within the sector. That such responses are based on genuine economic considerations is supported by the data on income which compare favourably with income of comparable groups in both urban and rural areas. It is not merely the current level of income that offers hope to the participants; prospects for the future also are perceived as good. This does not seem to be delusionary since there is evidence of occupational mobility within the sector. Overall, our results confirm that informal activities may be classified into two distinct groups; (1) those which lead to some accumulation of capital and (2) those leading only to a marginal living. The latter group comprises of about one-quarter of the self-employed and more than one-third of the employees. In contrast, upwards of one-third of the self-employed show significant economic potential. In general, the informal sector opens up some ways for self-improvement and breaking out of poverty to the disadvantaged of the urban labour force.

Marginalisation Vs. Dynamism : A Study of the Informal Sector in Dhaka City

Author: A.T.M. Nurul Amin

Abstract
The paper examines the labour force of the informal sector in Dhaka with respect to earnings, ability to save and invest, and attitudes and motivations. The findings indicate that involvement in informal activities is perceived as a means of altering the personal fortunes of people from a poor economic background. This is illustrated by the overwhelming preference of those self-employed in the sector to continue in current or similar activity within the sector. That such responses are based on genuine economic considerations is supported by the data on income which compare favourably with income of comparable groups in both urban and rural areas. It is not merely the current level of income that offers hope to the participants; prospects for the future also are perceived as good. This does not seem to be delusionary since there is evidence of occupational mobility within the sector. Overall, our results confirm that informal activities may be classified into two distinct groups; (1) those which lead to some accumulation of capital and (2) those leading only to a marginal living. The latter group comprises of about one-quarter of the self-employed and more than one-third of the employees. In contrast, upwards of one-third of the self-employed show significant economic potential. In general, the informal sector opens up some ways for self-improvement and breaking out of poverty to the disadvantaged of the urban labour force.

An Enquiry into the Nature and Determinants of Polarisation in Personal Wealth : A Case Study Using Handloom Industry Data

Author: Nuimuddin Chowdhury

Abstract
It is usually recognised that one of the important determinants of the inequality of the distribution of incomes relates to the distribution of wealth. Not much systematic work appears to have been done about the level and determinants of transactions in wealth in Bangladesh agriculture. This paper seeks to fill this lacuna, in part, and focusses on the levels, structure and determinants of the flows of wealth in relation to a sample of handloom entrepreneurs. We argue (a) that wealth transactions by respondents who are selling in net terms represent attempts not so much optimise wealth portfolio as to tide over liquidity contingencies stemming from an unforeseen depression in current incomes; (b) that net sales and net purchases of wealth items are largely accounted for by the handloom respondents in the small and large size-classes, respectively; (c) that land and homestead account for the major proportion of the sales and purchases of assets; and (d) finally that favourable access to liquidity, represented by whether one has a running credit limit with a commercial bank, and one’s situation on the informational network, as represented by whether one happens to be a dealer in yarn as well as a manufacturer of cloth explain a considerable proportion of the observed variance. The income variable, whenever it was tried, was found to be less effective than either of these dichotomous variables in explaining the variance. The moral seems to be that access to information and sizeable liquidity represent a combination more potent, from the viewpoint of making feasible attractive purchases of assets, than merely one’s own high income.

Choice of Techniques in Small Scale Irrigation in Bangladesh

Author: Md. Belayet Hossain

Abstract
The study is an attempt to examine the relative efficiency of indigenous labour intensive devices vis-a-vis imported mechanized techniques regarding small scale irrigation in Bangladesh. Three indices, viz., the cost effectiveness criterion, the benefit-cost (B/C) ratio and the internal rate of return (IRR) have been used; each index has been estimated both at market prices and at shadow prices. Heavy subsidy on the mechanized techniques makes them cost advantageous over the indigenous devices. But the financial cost estimation without subsidy as well as the economic cost estimation shows the reverse situation. All irrigation devices are found to be quite desirable and worthy, as reflected by the B/C ratio. However, the indigenous devices seem to be more profitable than the mechanized techniques to an individual as well as to the society. Government objectives in terms of increasing irrigation coverage, the expansion of employment opportunity and the reduction of income inequality can, to a great extent be facilitated through the reduction/removal of subsidy from the mechanized techniques.

Simulation of an Econometric Model to Analyze the Impact of a Buffer Stock Scheme in the Bangladesh Jute Sector

Author: Sultan Hafeez Rahman

Abstract
This paper is an investigation of the effects of a buffer stocks-supported price stabilization scheme on the Bangladesh jute sector. An econometric model of the Bangladesh jute sector is used for controlled policy experiments. A first order stochastic process is used to generate empirical probability distributions of the endogenous variables. A complete price stabilization policy, in which farm price is contained within a 7.5% band around the expected price is simulated. It is found that a substantial reduction in price instability can be achieved. While the estimated cost of the scheme is reasonable, the 95% confidence intervals are very large. The results of the simulations are also found to be highly sensitive to the assumed value of the export price elasticity.

Back to top