Family, Society, Economy and Fertility in Bangladesh
Author: M A Mannan
This paper examines the socio-economic and cultural conditions under which the large family represents a rational economic goal for parents. Here “rationality” is simply behaviour that represents a best accommodation of individual desires to the impositions of the environment. The persistence of high fertility in Bangladesh appears to be deep-rooted in the structure of society and its culture. Children are regarded as a good for which there is no substitute. The rural child provides valuable labour services to the parental household during childhood. Dependent children, specially sons, who engage in wage labour usually give their earnings to their parents. Grown children living away from the parental household usually send regular remittances to their ageing parents. They are also the most dependable source of old age security or of insurance against temporary disability or unemployment. Again, grown children contribute to the security of their families in a violent world by providing physical protection.But because of prevailing social customs, only male children work outside the home. Thus daughters cannot help in most of these activities, and to make matters worse, they cost a large amount at the time of marriage by way of dowry etc. So, for the small farmers and agricultural workers and for the vast majority of rural population, more sons mean more labour power and larger earnings. A household with a number of sons in the productive age groups, even with little access to land, can succeed economically because of larger labour supply and greater efficiency of labour through economies of scale. Perhaps, the most serious threat to a household’s economic survival arises when the head of the household dies or becomes seriously ill or permanently disabled and there are no able-bodied sons to assume responsibility for the family. This has been amply demonstrated by our ‘case studies’. Under the socio-economic and political setting prevailing in rural Bangladesh, number means safety and prosperity. Thus, children becomes a job, solace and source of social, political and economic security throughout the lives of the parents.
Trends in the Repayment Performance in the DFPIs: Implications for the Development of Entrepreneurship in Bangladesh
Author: Rehman Sobhan & Binayak Sen
The paper analyses the repayment trends of the two DFIs (BSB and BSRS) over the last decade which is current to 30th June, 1987. Based on data generated through a survey of 511 Industrial projects located in the private sector, the paper provides an adequate basis for evaluating the overall impact of the various policy measures (including legal actions) enacted by successive regimes to expedite the process of loan recovery. The study points to the all pervasive nature of default and proceeds to analyse further the societal implications of the default, the failure of the legal system to enforce recovery and the weaknesses of entrepreneurship. The study stressed the need for reviewing prevailing industrial policy which has failed to transform recalcitrant borrowers into a growth-seeking entrepreneurial class and suggests various remedial measures for immediate policy action.
Foreign Exchange and Economic Development: The Case of Bangladesh
Author: S. Ahmad
It is hypothesized to examine the relationship between foreign exchange and economic development that (i) the level of economic activity in less developed countries (LDCs) is constrained, at least, in part by the foreign exchange availability, (ii) different components of foreign exchange may differ in their impacts on the imports of consumer, intermediate and capital goods and (iii) the effects of different components of foreign exchange may spread over a period of more than one year. We have tested these hypotheses estimating the relationship between the three categories of imports and two sources (exports and foreign capital inflow) of foreign exchange. It appears that the data from the Bangladesh economy covering the period 1960/61-1979/80 support these hypotheses.