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FDI, Poverty, and the Politics of Potable Water Access

Economics& Politics, Volume 30, Issue 3, November 2018

How does foreign direct investment (FDI) affect the wellbeing of the poor? We address this question by analyzing the impacts of FDI on access to potable water. We predict that higher levels of greenfield FDI in water‐intensive sectors slow the rate of access to potable water in developing countries, with these adverse effects conditional on subnational politics. We hypothesize that this is more likely to occur in polities marked by relatively large poor and marginalized populations, where regulatory capture is more likely to occur. To test our intuition, we analyze subnational data on greenfield FDI in India, confirming that multinational investment in “thirsty” manufacturing sectors are negatively associated with improvements in potable water access. We then present a controlled comparison case study of two Indian states, Kerala and Rajasthan, highlighting the political mechanisms conditioning FDI’s effects on potable water.

URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ecpo.12112

Courtesy: Wiley online library


Robots and AI at work: the prospects for singularity

Martin Upchurch

New Technology, Work and Employment, Volume 33, Issue 3, November 2018

This paper seeks to address emerging debates and controversies on the impact of robots and artificial intelligence on the world of work. Longer term discussions of technological ‘singularity’ are considered alongside the socio‐technical and economic constraints on the application of robotics and AI. Evidence of robot ‘take‐up’ is gathered from reports of the International Federation of Robotics and from case vignettes reported elsewhere. In assessing the contemporary relationship between singularity, robotics and AI, the article reflects briefly on the two ‘tests’ of artificial ‘intelligence’ proposed by the pioneer computer scientist Alan Turing, and comments on the efficacy of his ‘tests’ in contemporary applications. The paper continues by examining aspects of public policy and concludes that technological singularity is far from imminent.

URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/ntwe.12124

courtesy: Wiley online library

Petty services, profit‐led growth and rural–urban migration in a developing economy

This paper develops a structuralist urban dual economy model for a developing economy consisting of a capitalist formal sector and a “petty” or informal service sector. The petty service sector plays an important role in wage determination and capital accumulation in the formal sector. The urban dual economy is situated in the midst of a rural area endowed with generous amount of surplus labour. The rural area augments urban labour supply over time through rural–urban migration. The paper, therefore, incorporates rural–urban migration within a structuralist framework and highlights its implication for growth and structural change in urban spaces of developing economies riddled with persistent formal–informal duality.
Courtesy: Wiley onlie library

Information technologies and entrepreneurship

This article shows how the increase of information availability due to new technologies positively affects aggregate entrepreneurship in national economies. We rely on an “occupational choice” model of managerial production, extended to include the managerial use of information, to explain variations in the number of entrepreneurs, and thus of firms, as measured by the aggregate new business creation data. We present evidence that supports such a theory of industrial organization dynamics for a sample of 78 economies over the period 2004–2012 using panel data instrumental variable regressions.

URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/mde.2996

Courtesy: Wiley online library

Whose Empowerment? National Digital Infrastructure and India’s Healthcare sector

Rajesh Chandwani, Saneesh Edacherian, and Mukesh Sud.

IIMA W.P. No. 2019-02-01.

Patient-centric digital infrastructure can potentially enhance the efficiency of the healthcare systems. Even in developed nations evidence suggests low adoption rates for such infrastructure. The Indian government, piggybacking off biometric identity, is setting up digital infrastructure to enable the provision of universal healthcare.

Invoking an information ecology perspective, we investigate the physician’s perception to this initiative. We find that, equipped with a unique patient identifier and stakeholders’ registry, this initiative is perceived to be a game changer and could significantly impact the power dynamics in the healthcare sector. Physicians, who are the key stakeholders in this initiative, are skeptical about the change in the locus of the power, with power residing in ‘data’ rather than ‘professional expertise’.

The changes are expected to manifest through monitoring, controlling and managing the data rather than the provision of knowledge-based services. We present recommendations for the design and implementation of this large-scale patient-centric digital infrastructure.

URL: https://web.iima.ac.in/assets/snippets/workingpaperpdf/12699366492019-02-01.pddf

Courtesy: IIMA

Market reaction to the effect of corporate social responsibility on mergers and acquisitions: Evidence on emerging markets

Tze-YuYen and PaulAndré.

The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance 71, 2019.

This cross-country study examines a large sample of 1986 merger and acquisition (M&A) deals in 23 emerging market (EM) countries between 2008 and 2014 to investigate market reactions to deal announcements regarding the acquiring firms with different levels of pre-merger corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance and under different degrees of agency cost concerns.

We find that, neither positive stakeholder nor negative shareholder view alone can explain the CSR effects. The effects of CSR performance on market reactions to M&As depend mainly on the cost–benefit concerns of investors. While a higher level of acquirers’ pre-merger CSR performance could be helpful in conducting cross-border deals, market reactions to the CSR effects on such overseas deals still depend directly on the CSR cost concerns rather than indirectly on the CSR interests for deal efficiency.

Evidence also shows that investors’ CSR cost concerns arise mainly from EM acquirers’ agency problems that could be effectively eased by country-level legal institutions rather than by firm-level governance mechanisms. Market investors with CSR agency concerns would not consider acquirers’ pre-merger CSR performance as a signal for investment during the deal announcement period, and that related CSR agency costs do impair the financial performance after the merger.

Additionally, we confirm that the better governance quality of targets’ nations compared with that of acquirers’ nation is not valued by the market investors but significantly leads to the better long-term operating performance. Furthermore, we propose an argument disputing the conclusions of previous research that consider emerging countries collectively as examples of weak governance quality.

URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1062976917303873

Courtesy: Sciencedirect

Do farmers value rice varieties tolerant to droughts and floods? Evidence from a discrete choice experiment in Odisha, India

Anchal Arora, Sangeeta Bansal, Patrick S. Ward.

Water Resources and Economics 25, 2019.

Abiotic stresses such as droughts and floods significantly constrain rice production in India. New stress tolerant technologies have the potential to reduce yield variability and help insulate farmers from the risks posed by these hazards. Using discrete choice experiments conducted in rural Odisha, we estimate farmers’ valuation for drought-tolerant (DT) and submergence-tolerant (SubT) traits embodied in rice cultivars.

Our results demonstrate that farmers in both drought-prone as well as submergence prone regions value reduction in yield variability offered by new, stress-tolerant cultivars, and would generally be willing to pay a significant premium for these traits. While virtually all farmers perceive the threat of drought and are willing to pay for protection against drought risk, only farmers in flood-prone areas would be willing to pay for rice that can withstand being submerged for prolonged periods, suggesting the potential for market segmentation along geographical or ecological lines.

URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212428416301396

Courtesy: Sciencedirect