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  • Author: David Smith
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Civilian governance in Pakistan has never lasted longer than eleven years. 2019 is the eleventh year since General Pervez Musharraf resigned the presidency and fears of a coup may exist, but one is not probable—at least not in the near-term future. In fact, two recent Chiefs of Army Staff (COAS)—Generals Kayani and Raheel in 2009 and 2014, respectively—considered taking, but decided not to take, direct control of the government. These decisions demonstrate that military rule is no longer necessary because the Army has already attained its major goals of de facto control of the country’s nuclear and missile programs, key foreign relationships, the military budget, and national security decision-making. In effect, the military has achieved what I have previously termed a “coup-less coup.” Instead of the traditionally fraught civil-military relationship, it seems that, for the first time in Pakistan’s turbulent history, the government and military agree on the three major issues facing Pakistan: domestic politics, the economy, and India. However, key variables, such as economic stability, could quickly change the course of this relationship.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Governance, Conflict, Civilians, Military Government
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, India
  • Author: Surbhi Kesar, Rosa Abraham, Rahul Lahoti, Paaritosh Nath, Amit Basole
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Sustainable Employment, Azim Premji University
  • Abstract: We analyze findings from a large-scale survey of around 5000 respondents across 12 states of India to study the impact of COVID-19 pandemic containment measures (lockdown) on employment, livelihoods, food security and access to relief measures. We find a massive increase in unemployment, an equally dramatic fall in earnings among informal workers, large increases in food insecurity, depletion of savings and patchy coverage of relief measures. Two-thirds of our respondents lost work. The few informal workers who were still employed during the lockdown experienced more than a fifty percent drop in their earnings. Even among regular wage workers, half received either no salary or reduced salary during the lockdown. Almost eighty percent of surveyed households experienced a reduction in their food intake and a similar percentage of urban households did not have enough money to pay next month's rent. We also use a set of logistic regressions to identify how employment loss and food intake varies with individual and householdlevel characteristics. We find that migrants and urban Muslims are significantly worse off with respect to employment and food security. Among employment categories, self-employed workers were more food secure. The Public Distribution System (PDS) system was seen to have the widest reach among social security measures. However, even under PDS, 16 percent of vulnerable urban households did not have access to government rations. Further, half of the respondents reported not receiving any cash transfers (state or central). We conclude that much more is needed in the way of direct fiscal support that has been announced thus far by state and central governments in India.
  • Topic: Economics, Labor Issues, Employment, Unemployment, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Luiza Peruffo
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conjuntura Austral: Journal of the Global South
  • Institution: Conjuntura Austral: Journal of the Global South
  • Abstract: The grouping of the BRICS countries is controversial in several ways. First, because its origins do not have a political foundation: Brazil, Russia, India and China were first put together as an acronym created in the financial market (O’NEILL, 2001) and this was eventually transposed onto the political world. The group’s advocates have argued that the geopolitical initiative that followed made sense because it brought together countries of continental proportions, large economies, with huge domestic markets –an argument that falls apart with the inclusion of South Africa in 2010. In addition, there is the issue of the disproportionate economic power between China and the other members of the bloc. Moreover, many argue that there are few common interests between the economies, which have such diverse productive structures, and therefore it would be unlikely that they could form a cohesive group (see STUENKEL, 2013, pp. 620-621 for a review of criticisms of the group).
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, Global Financial Crisis, Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, India, South Africa, Brazil
  • Author: Arvind Subramanian
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: My recent research paper “India's GDP Mis-estimation: Likelihood, Magnitudes, Mechanisms, and Implications,” (hereafter “GDP paper”) and the associated op-ed in the Indian Express on June 11, 2019 have generated considerable debate. This is encouraging because serious argument and counter-argument are the basis for good policy-making. Since the issue itself is of great importance, the counter-arguments to my analysis warrant a considered response. That is the aim of this note, which is a complement to the original paper, addressing both the larger issues and some of the specific points that have been raised. The note is structured as follows. Section II describes my engagement with India’s GDP estimation when I was Chief Economic Adviser. Section III elaborates on the framework/approach underlying the GDP paper. Section IV makes explicit the key puzzle surrounding India’s growth estimates, and addresses the possible explanations for it. Section V explores the puzzle in greater detail. Section VI provides additional cross-country evidence on growth and price deflators, which support the findings of the original paper, namely that growth during 2011-16 was likely overestimated by a significant margin. Section VII addresses two broad objections to the main findings. Section VIII discusses some of the methodological critiques of the paper. Section IX offers some thoughts on the way forward.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy, International Development, Economic growth
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Umar Farooq, Asma Shakir Khawaja
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: The article is intended to find out the geopolitical implications, regional constraints and benefits of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Researcher reviewed both published research articles and books to find out geopolitical implication, regional constraints and benefits of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. For this purpose, researcher also reviewed newspapers articles and published reports by government and non-governmental stakeholders working on CPEC. Review of the articles and reports indicated that CPEC had enormous benefits not only for China and Pakistan but also for the whole region. But different internal and external stakeholders are not in favor of successful completion of this project. Extremism, sense of deprivation, lack of political consensus, political instability are some of the internal constraints. On the other hand, Afghanistan, India, Iran, UAE and USA are posing constraints to halt the successful completion of CPEC.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Violent Extremism, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Iran, South Asia, India, Asia, Punjab, United Arab Emirates, United States of America
  • Author: Servaas Storm
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET)
  • Abstract: Strong labor protections for ordinary workers are often portrayed as a ‘luxury developing countries cannot afford’. No study has been more influential in propagating this perversity trope in the context of the Indian economy than the QJE article of Besley and Burgess (2004). Their article provides econometric evidence that pro-worker regulation resulted in lower output, employment, investment and productivity in India’s registered manufacturing sector. This paper reviews existing critiques of Besley and Burgess (2004), which highlight conceptual and measurement errors and uncover econometric weaknesses. The paper takes a step beyond these: it reports a failure to replicate Besley and Burgess’ findings and demonstrate the nonrobustness of their results. My deconstruction is not only about the econometrics, however. I show that Besley and Burgess’ findings are not just inconsistent with their theoretical priors, but also internally contradictory and empirically implausible, taxing any person’s capacity for belief. The paper, written by two ‘useful economists’, exhibits a gratuitous empiricism in which priors trump evidence. On all counts, it fails the test of being useful to the purpose of ‘evidence-based’ public policy advice.mp Evidence and Progress Gets Stalled
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy, Labor Issues, Inequality, Labor Policies
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Girish Bahal, Anand Shrivastava
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Sustainable Employment, Azim Premji University
  • Abstract: Controlling for monetary policy, government transfers are potentially inflationary. This, however, may not be true when the economy is demandconstrained. Using a panel data of 17 Indian states over 30 years, we show that government transfers via welfare programs do not lead to inflation. For identification, we use a narrative shock series of transfer spending that is based on the introduction of new welfare programs. We then look at a specific program, NREGA, which has been shown to increase rural wages, and show that its implementation did not increase inflation.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Labor Issues, Monetary Policy, Employment, Inflation, Demand
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Tuhinsubhra Giri, Santosh Mehrotra
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Sustainable Employment, Azim Premji University
  • Abstract: Most international development economics and industrial organization literature emphasises the importance of SMEs (small and medium enterprises) as important to output, but especially to employment generation. Countries have different definitions for SMEs. In India the MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) are defined in terms of investment in plant and machinery or equipment. The MSME Ministry (Annual Report, Government of India 2017–18) stated that the sector accounts for 45% of the manufacturing output and 40% of the total exports of the country; also that MSMEs accounted for 30.74% of GDP in 2014– 15. Not surprising, MSMEs are considered a driving force of the economy.
  • Topic: Economics, Labor Issues, Employment, Manufacturing, Economic Development
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Raavi Aggarwal
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Sustainable Employment, Azim Premji University
  • Abstract: This article analyses relationships between the implementation of state-level industrial policies in India and manufacturing sector economic performance (employment and gross value added), utilising data from the Annual Survey of Industries conducted by the Government of India. I employ panel data fixed-effects regression models to evaluate the associations between the industrial policy and state-industry specific performance over the 2007-08 to 2014-15 period, incorporating potential effects of the state government's political alignment, infrastructure provision and educational expenditure in the state. The results provide evidence of a positive correlation between industrial policy implementation and firm output and employment, by around 12.6 - 14 per cent. However, subsequent introductions of an industrial policy are negatively associated with employment and are uncorrelated with industrial GVA. This analysis has implications for economic policy in light of the Central Government's plans to implement a revised industrial policy at the national scale.
  • Topic: Economics, Industrial Policy, Employment, Manufacturing
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Jajati Parida, Santosh Mehrotra
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Sustainable Employment, Azim Premji University
  • Abstract: Falling total employment is an unprecedented trend seen from 2011-12 to 2017-18. Due to a decline of employment in agriculture and manufacturing and slow growth of construction jobs, the process of structural transformation, which had gained momentum post-2004-5, has stalled since 2012. Mounting educated youth unemployment, and lack of quality non-farm jobs have resulted in an increase of the disheartened labour force. Though the share of regular and formal employment increased marginally due to growth of formal jobs in the private sectors, the share of informal jobs within government/public sector increased. A dominant share of jobs is still generated by micro and small units of the unorganized sectors without any formal or written job contract. In both government and private sectors the number of contract jobs (with less than a year’s contract) is on the rise post 2011-12. Not surprisingly, real wages have not increased in either rural or urban areas.
  • Topic: Economics, Education, Labor Issues, Employment, Economic growth, Job Creation
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Santosh Mehrotra
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Sustainable Employment, Azim Premji University
  • Abstract: Globally, research has shown that, there is a high correlation between the level of per capita income and the rate of female labour force participation. At the same time the agency and autonomy of women in a country improve with the level of female labour force participation. Sen (2000) has argued that the autonomy and agency of women in a society and their empowerment is enabled by four conditions in their lives. First the higher the education level of women, the more empowered they are likely to feel. Second, if they are working outside the home, they are likely to feel a sense of autonomy and empowerment. Third, they should also have an independent source of income from that of the significant other in their household. Finally, their empowerment can be usually enhanced if they own assets and have access to them. One can see from this analysis that the first three requirements for women’s’ empowerment are related to each other and to some extent co-dependent. We will keep these considerations in mind as we analyse labour markets and how women engaged with them in different parts of the world.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Education, Gender Issues, Labor Issues, Women, Employment, Inequality
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Anand Shrivastava, Rosa Abraham
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Sustainable Employment, Azim Premji University
  • Abstract: With the lack of official government data on unemployment and other labour market indicators, the most viable and recent source have been the regular household surveys conducted by the Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy (CMIE). Given the differences in methods in data collection, it becomes exceedingly important to establish some comparability between the government and the CMIE datasets. This paper attempts to do that using two methods. First we fit a model of employment status on the CMIE data and see how well it predicts outcomes in the older Labour Bureau 2015-16 and NSS 2011-12 data. Then we compare state-level estimates of broad labour market indicators from CMIE 2016 and Labour Bureau 2015-16 datasets. The broad results are that despite differences in methodologies, the estimates for men are quite comparable between the surveys, while measures of women’s participation in the labour force seem particularly sensitive to the way questions are asked in surveys.
  • Topic: Economics, Labor Issues, Work Culture, Labor Policies, Participation
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Santosh Mehrotra, Sharmistha Sinha
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Sustainable Employment, Azim Premji University
  • Abstract: A continuous and sharp decline in the already depressed female labour force participation rate in India post 2005, particularly in the face of its rapid economic growth raises questions about the inclusiveness of the growth process. The paper recommends a set of policies based on the analysis of the nature and trends of female work participation and a brief analysis of the underlying reasons behind such trends. Women are moving out of the low productivity agricultural sector, which necessitates an increase in employment opportunities in the nonagricultural sector, particularly in rural and in semi-urban locations. Improving skills for employability, especially in manufacturing clusters (which is where the jobs are) located close to young girls’ rural homes, would help the females to join the labour force if non-agricultural jobs are growing. To release women from unpaid work in the household to join the paid labour force, it is essential to improve child care facilities and other basic service facilities, which again calls for raising the share of public expenditure in some sectors and specific facilities. For instance, increasing single working women’s housing, making public transport safer, and modifying public programmes to cater to women’s needs can pave the way for more women to engage and remain in the labour force, become active participants in the growth process, and thus achieve greater economic empowerment.
  • Topic: Economics, Gender Issues, Labor Issues, Women, Employment
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Divya Prakash, Sabina Dewan
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Sustainable Employment, Azim Premji University
  • Abstract: Indians are optimistic. According to the Pew Research Center’s 2017 Global Attitudes Survey, three out of four Indians believe that, “when children today in India grow up, they will be better off financially than their parents” (Pew Global Attitudes Survey, 2017). Families hinge their hopes on the ability of the next generation to work hard, earn a living, and be a source of financial support. For years now, the nation has done the same, pinning its economic ambitions to a demographic advantage, or youth bulge, that is set to continue only for the next two decades. Unless there are pathways to productive and high-quality employment, the nation’s youth will not be able to deliver on these expectations. How has India’s economy fared on job creation over the past decade? The country had just under 466 million people in the labour force1 in 2015, with a participation rate of 50.3 percent (Labour Bureau, 2015/16). An analysis of Labour Bureau data over a period of four years from 2012 to 2015 shows that on average, 4.75 million people were added to the labour force per year. According to the Labour Bureau’s Employment-Unemployment survey, between 2012 to 2015, the economy generated a total of 9 million jobs, based on Usual Principal Status -- the activity that an individual is engaged in for a major part of the reference year (Labour Bureau, 2011/12 to 2015/16).
  • Topic: Economics, Labor Issues, Employment, Work Culture, Job Creation
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Anshuman Rahul
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: AUSTRAL: Brazilian Journal of Strategy International Relations
  • Institution: Postgraduate Program in International Strategic Studies, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
  • Abstract: The OBOR initiative of China often termed as ‘Modern-day Silk Road’ is based on President Xi Jinping’s epic vision to make ‘China Great Again’ by reviving the Silk Route of ancient times. This initiative aims to engage Eurasia economically by creating a network of infrastructure. In this regard, the article attempts to understand the geo-politics behind India’s refusal to join OBOR and strategic response to counter the most appealing economic engagement of the present era but considered to be a debt-trap by India.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Military Strategy, Silk Road
  • Political Geography: China, India, Asia
  • Author: Rukhsana Iftikhar
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: India was comprised of many villages before the arrival of Muslims. Those Muslim invaders, who conquered India and established their rule, essentially belonged to the urban ruling classes. In early Turkish Empire (1206 – 1266), ruling classes have developed numerous urban centers in town across India. In Muslims period, Iqta system provided opportunities to Turko – Afghan communities to have luxurious life style which provoked skill workers, artesian and architect to migrate garrison. These towns also emerge as cultural centers with the passage of time. Early cities like Daultabad, Fatehpur Sikri and Shahjahanabad (Old Delhi) were royal capital cities. Some of the major cities like Kabul, Agra, Allahabad, Lahore, Attock and Multan were developed near major road (Grand Trunk Road). Many towns like Dholpur, Jodhpur, Sirohi, Asirgarh and Ajmer were inhabited near nonmetal led roads . Many of the Mughal cities and towns still exist in spite of many natural disasters. Many European travelers narrated the glory and significance of these cities and towns in their account. They compared Indian cities with Europe, like Fatehpur Sikri was larger than London and Delhi was not less urbanized than Paris. These urban centers were not only the administrative units but also considered as cultural centers in Mughal State. Emperors sometimes generated the economic activities in these urban centers. Abul Fazal mentioned many factories in Delhi, Agra and Fatehpur Sikri supplied many precious articles in the King’s wardrobe. Capital cities always had the excess of fruit and food for the Royal kitchen. People brought their master pieces in the capital city just to get the acknowledgement of kings and nobles. This paper analyzes the development of major urban centers in Mughals (most illustrated dynasty of the Muslim civilization). It also highlights the cultural transformation of Muslims under the influence of native one.
  • Topic: Economics, History, Urbanization, Medieval History
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, South Asia, Central Asia, India, Punjab
  • Author: Ben Skarratt, Scarlett Mansfield, Christopher McKenna
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Case Study
  • Institution: Oxford Centre for Global History
  • Abstract: In the second half of the eighteenth century, a new garment entered European fashion. Noted for being exceptionally soft, warm, and light, it bore intricate patterns unlike anything Europeans had encountered before or had produced domestically. This product, a woollen shawl, originated in a region that would become so famous for its textiles that its name would pass into Western lexicons as a toponym for its woollen produce: Kashmir. The principal motif found on these shawls, known in India as the Buta, or kairi, would come to be called, in its altered form, Paisley in the West. Not only was the garment practical and aesthetically pleasing, its oriental origins, clear status as a luxury item, texture, and patterning enabled it to permeate European high fashion. Patronage by Empress Josephine of France, and later Queen Victoria, solidified this popularity. By the turn of the nineteenth century, Kashmir and the West regularly traded these textiles. A European industry, aimed at copying Indian originals, also thrived. The next six decades witnessed fervent European consumption of the shawl. This rapid consumption resulted in a host of changes to the production and designs of the garments. While the history of the shawl and its relationship to the West has been subject to distortion, hyperbole, and fiction, recent scholarship has made considerable headway in demystifying information about these products. It is now possible to relate how the Kashmir shawl first came into production, its emergence onto the world stage as a luxury textile, and its status as the principal medium by which the Buta/ Paisley motif entered into the pantheon of historic fashion designs.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Capitalism, Commodities
  • Political Geography: Europe, India
  • Author: Amay Narayan, Amit Basole
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Sustainable Employment, Azim Premji University
  • Abstract: Despite its weak performance in terms of job creation in recent years, the organised manufacture sector remains vital to employment policy. This paper investigates the aggregate trends in this sector, in employment, output, labour-capital ratio, as well as wage share and wage rates at the three-digit NIC level over a long period from 1983 to 2016 using the Annual Survey of Industries data. We show that three distinct sub-periods can be identified within the overall period. Further, using shift-share decomposition we show that most of the decline in the L/K ratio can be explained by within industry changes. Finally, we analyse industries with respect to their capacity to deliver job growth as well as wage growth.
  • Topic: Economics, Employment, Economic growth, Manufacturing
  • Political Geography: India
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Sustainable Employment, Azim Premji University
  • Abstract: This study focuses on the Gurgaon-Manesar-Dharuhera-Bawal-Tapukara-Neemrana industrial belt in Haryana and Rajasthan, which is an important ‘node’ or part of Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) and a major destination of capital in the last few decades. The study is based on primary survey work of qualitative nature of over 6 months from September 2017 to March 2018. Primary respondents are workers of different segments, plant-level Trade Union leaders and Trade Union activists of the belt, with some inputs from secondary literature, workers magazine and data published by the companies and the government. The attempt to integrate Indian economy with global production networks (GPNs) in the postliberalization period seems partially successful here in this belt, particularly in capital and technologyintensive automobile sector, labour-intensive garment sector and service sector like IT/ITES. But along with industrial growth, this development story has its own underbelly – labour – with crises of jobs, poor working conditions, informalization of regular work, capital-labour conflicts (sometimes of irreconcilable nature) and dismantling of collective bargaining mechanism, pro-capital mediating institutions and labour law enforcement processes. For our study, our main focus has been the auto-belt, which incidentally has also been a prominent centre of most militant labour unrests of our country in last two decades. This study looks into the transformation of production and labour regime and the consequent challenges before the collective bargaining mechanism and institutions to explain the worsening employment conditions despite growth, and the root of industrial conflicts.
  • Topic: Economics, Labor Issues, Employment, Unions, Industrialization
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Chinju Johny, Jayan Jose Thomas
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Sustainable Employment, Azim Premji University
  • Abstract: A striking feature of the Indian economy has been the relatively small contribution made by the manufacturing sector to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and, more importantly, to employment. In 2013, manufacturing accounted for only 16.5 per cent of India’s GDP, compared to 29.7 per cent of China’s.3 According to the National Sample Survey (NSS) on Employment and Unemployment, India’s manufacturing sector provided employment to 61.3 million in 2011-12, which was only 13 per cent of the country’s total workforce of 472.5 million in that year (Thomas 2015a).
  • Topic: Economics, Labor Issues, GDP, Employment, Manufacturing
  • Political Geography: India