Economics India

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Farmers Suicides in India

A number of posts have since been published in this blog. However, we want to bring to your attention two detailed comments that this blog has since received on this tragic topic. These relate to farmers' lack of knowledge about genetically modified varieties of cotton, the poor state of the extension service, and what needs to be done with a kind of missionary zeal and mass media to eliminate or reduce the incidence of farmer suicides.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Prof. Robert Bates' Recent Research on Political Reforms

Prof. Robert H. Bates of Harvard University recently made a presentation at the World Bank on the subject of political reform based on his research in Africa. (His paper on "Institutions and Development" is published in the Journal of African Economies, Vol. 15, AERC Supplement 1, pp. 10-61).

Prof. Bates notes that "in late-century Africa, domestic reformers and international community prescribed political reform as a means of securing policy reforms. They sought to put an end to single party and military government and introduced multi-party politics".

Using a principal agent framework, Prof. Bates assesses the logical validity of these efforts. And employing a game theoretic approach, he traces the impact of political reform on political stability. He employs a panel of data from both African and global samples to measure the impact of reform on the economics and politics of Africa.

The evidence suggests that "reform has measurably curtailed opportunistic use of political power, failed to influence the formulation of macro-economic policy, and increased the likelyhood of political disorder".

More on this later...