Seeds of thought are sown at last
P. K. Vasudeva

India in a Globalising World: Some Aspects of Macro economy, Agriculture and Poverty
ed. R Radhakrishna, S. K. Rao, S Mahendra Dev and K. Subarao Academic Foundation, New Delhi.
Price not stated. Pages 528.

THE papers in this volume are a tribute to Prof C. H. Hanumantha Rao one of India’s most distinguished economists. The papers in this volume relate to few important themes on India in the context of globalising world. The themes include Macro Issues in Development, covering issues such as changing role of Reserve Bank of India, fiscal federalism performance of firms, macro modelling and governance. The other two themes are Macro Issues in Agricultural Development and Equity and Emerging Institutions in Agricultural Development.

All over the world, there have been changes in the role of Central Bank in the era of globalisation. Y. V. Reddy examines the evolutionary trends in the functioning of Reserve Bank of India. C. Rangarajan has examined concerns of fiscal federalism in the light of new developments mainly, the impact of globalisation on federal structures. They have to undergo a change in order to respond to the forces of globalisation and international competition.

Economic strategies have seldom reflected our political and social realities. In this context, Bimal Jalan deals with an interesting theme, Economics, Politics and Governance. There is a renewed interest on macro econometric models in the new policy regime. K. Krishnamurty provides us with a review of five generations of macro-econometric models for India and suggests how the models could be relevant to these times.

Agriculture is still the crucial sector in the Indian economy for both output and more importantly for employment. It is important to know the factors that influence agricultural growth in the short and long run for better policies. B. B. Bhattacharya and S. Kar make a macro analysis of short and long-run growth prospects of agricultural GDP.

The studies on impact of globalisation and liberalisation on industrial sector focus on inter-country samples or inter-industry samples in a given country. However, the impact of liberalisation differs even across firms in an industry. N. S. Siddharthan concentrates on finding from inter-firm studies rather than inter-country or inter-industry studies.

Indian agriculture has to face new challenges in the light of WTO negotiations. Y. K. Alag discusses global economic strategies for India after the Doha WTO meetings. He examines the impact of the global economy on the macro performance of the Indian economy in the 1990s, the fluctuations in it and evolution of trade responses.

Productivity and total factor productivity in agriculture continues to be an important research area in view of the important role of productivity in the growth process. K. L. Krishna says agriculture deals with three aspects of total factor productivity in agriculture: the performance of agriculture relative to non-agriculture and relative to manufacturing; the performance of agriculture in India relative to China and other countries in South Asia, and determinants of total factor productivity in agriculture.

Relationships and structures in communities such as tribes and villages are the basic determinants of production and resource use in aggregation economies. Youjiro Hayami attempts to build a conceptual framework for comparing the community characteristics across major regions in Asia.

Understanding factors responsible for regional variations in agriculture is important for framing better policies to achieve equity. G. S. Bhalla reviews the pattern of agricultural growth at the national and regional level and examines the main reasons for regional variations in levels and rates of agricultural growth.

Combination of three I’s—incentives, investments and institutions—is important for higher agricultural growth and to reduce hunger and property. Ashok Gulati looks at the broad changes in trade and exchange-rate policies during the reform period and how they have impacted upon the incentives, investments and growth in agriculture.

The worst sufferers of the agrarian crises in the 1990’s are the small and marginal farmers and tenants. Y. V. Krishna Rao attempts to analyse the root causes of the present agrarian distress and also the importance of small-farmer economy in the agriculture sector and offers some policy prescriptions.

Natural disasters can be extremely disruptive, especially for farmers whose incomes depend on a successful crop and natural disaster risks. However, the costs associated with traditional agricultural risk programmes have historically exceeded the gains from improved risk sharing. Peter Hazel and Jerry Skees explore government intervention in agricultural risk markets and discuss new approaches to risk sharing with limited government involvement.

The volume will be very useful for the economists, agriculturists, farmers and researchers for carrying out further reforms, especially agrarian.