Expanding the frontiers of economics: Evidence from South Asia

YSI South Asia Webinar on 'economic (hu)men'

April 2021 - April 2022

The series aims to explore the meaning of 'economic (hu)men' with an interdisciplinary lens.

Webinar Series

Description

This project aims to organise series of special sessions on emerging areas of research in Economics. By synthesising theoretical assumptions of sociology, psychology, anthropology and political sciences, a new generation of researchers are rediscovering the principles which govern the actions and interaction among ‘economic (hu)man’.

We aim to organise monthly lectures. In this series, we hope to ensure inclusivity across different schools of thoughts and across genders.

Format:

The presentation(s) will be typically 20 min long, followed by 10 minutes comments by the discussant and 15 min Q & A.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Online

15 Oct 2021

Webinar

Contested Capital: Rural Middle Classes in India

The special session will discuss the core thesis of Maryam Aslany's recent book Contested Capital: Rural Middle Classes in India, Cambridge University Press (2020). Mujibur Rehman has kindly agreed to become the discussant for the session! Abstract The expansion and transformation of Asian economies is producing class structures, roles and identities that could not easily be predicted from other times and places. The industrialisation of the countryside, in particular, generates new, rural middle classes which straddle the worlds of agriculture and industry in complex ways. Their class position is improvised on the basis of numerous influences and opportunities, and is in constant evolution. Enormous though its total population is, meanwhile, the rural middle class remains invisible to most scholars and policymakers. Contested Capital is the first major work to shed light on an emerging transnational class comprised of many hundreds of millions of people. In India, the 'middle class' has become one of the key categories of economic analysis and developmental forecasting. The discussion suffers from one major oversight: it assumes that the middle class resides uniquely in the cities. As this book demonstrates, however, more than a third of India's middle class is rural, and 17 per cent of rural households belong to the middle class. The book brings this vast and dynamic population into view, so confronting some of the most crucial neglected questions of the contemporary global economy. Biographies Speaker Maryam Aslany is an economic sociologist of international development. She is currently a Senior Researcher at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), where she is working on an ERC-funded project about future migration in West Africa. She is also a part-time researcher at Wolfson College, Oxford, University of Oxford. Aslany received her doctorate in Economic Sociology from King’s College London in 2018. Following her doctorate, she joined Wolfson College, Oxford, as a Career Development Researcher and Junior Research Fellow, where she worked on the political economy of climate change adaptation in rural India and Fiji. Aslany’s research interests include: patterns of global migration; climate-induced migration; the political economy of climate change adaptation; and informal labour and rural middle-class formation in low- and middle-income countries. She is also interested in innovative mixed methods in social-science research. Her first monograph, Contested Capital: Rural Middle Classes in India, was published by Cambridge University Press (2020). Contested Capital explores the dynamic processes of new class formation in the Indian countryside, and identifies a large but previously neglected group – the rural middle class – whose material situation and social aspirations differs markedly from its urban counterparts. Discussant Mujibur Rehman teaches at Jamia Millia Central University, New Delhi. He specializes on political economy and identity politics. His forthcoming book is , Shikwa-e- Hind: The Political Future of Indian Muslims( Simon and Schuster 2021). His past publications include, Rise of Saffron Power( Routledge 2018); and Communalism in postcolonial India: Changing Contours( first published in 2016). Its second edition has a forward by Romila Thapar. He writes columns and reviews in the Hindu, The Hindustan Times, The Frontline, The Outlook etc. Format: The presentations will be typically 30 min long, followed by Q & A. Maryam Aslany's new book: This session is a part of the larger project: Expanding the frontiers of economics: Evidence from South Asia This project aims to organise series of special sessions on emerging areas of research in Economics. By synthesising theoretical assumptions of sociology, psychology, anthropology and political sciences, a new generation of researchers are rediscovering the principles which govern the actions and interaction among ‘economic (hu)man’. This will be a year-long project. In this series, we hope to ensure inclusivity across different schools of thoughts and across genders.

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PAST EVENTS

Online

14 May 2021

Webinar

Social Identity, Behaviour and Aspiration: Evidence from India

This special season will host two briliant scholars who is going discuss about social identity, behavirous and aspirations. Speaker 1: Dr. Sudipa Sarkar, Warwick University Title of the presentation: Social Identity and Aspiration – Double Jeopardy or Intersectionality? Evidence from Rural India Abstract: This study investigates the relationship between individuals’ social identity and their future aspirations in a developing country. We analyse primary survey data from participants of a large-scale skill-training programme that targets rural poor youths in India. We focus on two dimensions of individuals’ identity: caste and gender. Our empirical findings suggest that training participants from the most socially disadvantaged groups – Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Scheduled Caste (SC) – have significantly lower income aspiration when compared to Other Backward Class (OBC) and Other Caste (OC) participants. Female participants also have significantly lower aspiration than their male counterparts. The aspiration gaps exist even after controlling for various background characteristics, including participants’ pre-training Big-5 personality traits and non-cognitive skills. Individual-level and household-level factors mediate some of the aspiration gaps based on caste and gender. We find evidence that for SC/ST female participants, the disadvantages on both caste and gender dimensions add up; this is reflected in their lower income aspiration levels, in comparison with all other groups. Thus, our results support the hypothesis of “double jeopardy” instead of “intersectionality” in this context. Speaker 2: Dr. Smriti Sharma, Newcastle University Title of the presentation: Social Identity, Behavior, and Personality: Evidence from India Abstract: Hierarchies in social identities are integrally related to divergences in economic status. In India, caste is a significant social identity where discriminatory practices have resulted in poor outcomes for the lower castes. While there is considerable research on differences in economic outcomes along caste lines, there is limited work on behavioral preferences and personality traits that can also be adversely affected by such identity hierarchies, and that are important determinants of educational attainment and labor market performance. Combining rich data from incentivized tasks and surveys conducted among a large sample of university students, we find that the historically marginalized Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SCSTs) and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) report lower scores than upper castes along several dimensions of economic behavior such as competitiveness and confidence and personality traits such as grit, locus of control, and conscientiousness. Further, socioeconomic status has a limited compensatory role in mitigating these gaps. Biographies; Dr. Smriti Sharma: Smriti Sharma is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Economics at Newcastle University, England. Her research specialization is in development economics, labour economics, and behavioural economics. Within these fields, her works spans the following three areas: (i) education, skills and labour markets; (ii) political economy of development; and (iii) caste and gender-based disadvantage and discrimination. She works with both secondary data and primary data collected using surveys and experiments. She obtained her PhD in economics from the Delhi School of Economics and has previously worked at the United Nations University – World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER). She is also affiliated with IZA and Global Labor Organization (GLO). Dr. Sudipa Sarkar: Sudipa Sarkar is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Employment Research, University of Warwick. Her research interests are in the broad areas of Labour and Development Economics. In particular, she focuses on issues relating to skills and education, future of work, decent work, poverty and inequality, and gender. Sudipa is also a Fellow at Global Labour Organisation (GLO). Before joining University of Warwick she was a Marie Curie PhD Fellow associated with a European Commission funded network, and completed her PhD from the Department of Applied Economics, University of Salamanca, Spain. Sudipa has worked in several other research organisations and projects in the past such as Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, Institute of Rural Management Anand, and Young Lives Project (led by Oxford University) and has been a Visiting Researcher at European Foundation for Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound), Dublin. Format: The presentations will be typically 30 min long, followed by Q & A. We are expecting upto 90 minute session! This session is a part of the project:Expanding the frontiers of economics: Evidence from South Asia This project aims to organise series of special sessions on emerging areas of research in Economics. By synthesising theoretical assumptions of sociology, psychology, anthropology and political sciences, a new generation of researchers are rediscovering the principles which govern the actions and interaction among ‘economic (hu)man’. We aim to organise monthly lectures. In this series, we hope to ensure inclusivity across different schools of thoughts and across genders.

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Online

1 Jul 2021

Webinar

The Age of Pandemics, 1817-1920: How they shaped India and the world

Welcome to our special session co-organised by South Asia WG, History of Economic Thought WG and Economic History WG! We are delighted to have Julia Marchevsky, History of Economic Thought, and Sergio Castellanos-Gamboa, Economic History as co-organisers of this session within our larger project! The special session will discuss the core thesis of Chinmay Tumbe's recent book, The Age of Pandemics, 1817-1920: How they shaped India and the world (2020), HarperCollins India. From lockdowns to lockups, viruses to vaccination, the movement of people to the movement of bowels, from rats to cats, and more, The Age of Pandemics chronicles the many facets of the cholera, plague and influenza pandemics, which claimed over 70 million lives between 1817 and 1920, with India being the epicentre in all these episodes. Speaker's bio: Chinmay Tumbe loves to laugh and learn. He is a faculty member in the Economics Area of the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad and the author of India Moving: A History of Migration (2018) and The Age of Pandemics, 1817-1920: How they shaped India and the world (2020). Format: The presentations will be typically 30 min long, followed by Q & A. This session is a part of the larger project:Expanding the frontiers of economics: Evidence from South Asia This project aims to organise series of special sessions on emerging areas of research in Economics. By synthesising theoretical assumptions of sociology, psychology, anthropology and political sciences, a new generation of researchers are rediscovering the principles which govern the actions and interaction among ‘economic (hu)man’. This will be a year-long project. In this series, we hope to ensure inclusivity across different schools of thoughts and across genders.

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Online

15 Jun 2021

Webinar

The Social Cost of the Price of Land

Welcome to our special session co-organised by South Asia WG, and Urban and Regional Economics WG! We are delighted to have Simone Maria Grabner, Urban and Regional Economics WG as the co-organiser of this session within our larger project! For this special session, we are excited to have Dr. Sai Balakrishnan, Assistant Professor of Global Urban Inequalities at the University of California, Berkeley. She will be discussing about the Social Cost of the Price of Land. We are lucky to have Prof. Dr. Benjamin Davy, currently visiting professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Johannesburg, and at the School of Architecture and Spatial Planning, TU Wien University as the discussant. Title of the presentation: The Social Cost of the Price of Land: Revaluing Agrarian-Urban Land in Globalizing India This talk will focus on India's post-liberalization decades of "land wars." India's 1991 economic liberalization reforms augured a market- and urban- turn in political-economy, with a large-scale overhaul of earlier land laws to enable an expedited conversion of agricultural land into new urban land-uses. As policy makers searched for decentralized and market-oriented means for "discovering" the price of land, the core of these land transformations entailed the remaking of agricultural land from a protected commodity into a fungible real estate asset. With the urban turn, as location trumps fertility as the key metric for determining land price, these land revaluations in the urbanizing countryside have erupted into some of the most volatile social conflicts in India's post-colonial history. Using the India case, this talk will address broader questions that are key to land transformations in former socialist and communist countries, of what are the social costs of the price of land, and with the rise of the price system as the key arbiter of land conflicts, what are the institutional arrangements through which land can be re-embedded in social-ecological relations. Biographies Speaker Sai Balakrishnan is an Assistant Professor of Global Urban Inequalities at the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to Berkeley, she taught at Harvard and Rutgers, and was a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia Law School's Center on Global Legal Transformation. Her recent book, *Shareholder Cities: Land Transformations along Urban Corridors in India* (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019), looks at the conflicts and struggles over the commodification / decommodification of land in India's urbanizing countryside. Discussant Ben Davy is visiting professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Johannesburg, and at the School of Architecture and Spatial Planning, TU Wien University. He was professor of land policy, land management and municipal geo-information at the School of Spatial Planning, TU Dortmund University. Ben was president of the International Academic Association on Planning, Law, and Property Rights (PLPR) and the Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP). Among his books are "Essential Injustice" (1997) and "Land Policy" (2012). Currently, he works on land reform, land use ethics, and the dignity of human and non-human animals. This session is a part of the project:Expanding the frontiers of economics: Evidence from South Asia This project aims to organize series of special sessions on emerging areas of research in Economics. By synthesizing theoretical assumptions of sociology, psychology, anthropology and political sciences, a new generation of researchers are rediscovering the principles which govern the actions and interaction among ‘economic (hu)man’. We aim to organize monthly lectures. In this series, we hope to ensure inclusivity across different schools of thoughts and across genders. Dr. Balakrishnan's recent book: Prof. Dr. Davy's recent book:

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Online

8 Aug 2021

Webinar

Fighting the Pandemic: Policy Plurality and Response Performance

This session will discuss the recent paper written by Suborna Barua, Rubaiyat Shaimom Chowdhury and Sonia Rezina, titled, "One year of fighting the Covid-19 Pandemic: An analysis of policy plurality and response performance of emerging economies". The speaker for the Session: Suborna Barua Abstract Emerging economies face resource availability and allocation constraints in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Understanding the policy responses of emerging economies could offer insights about their ability to sustain downturns and lead the future global economy. We carry out a detailed examination of the policy responses using data from the International Monetary Fund’s Policy Tracker database for 25 selected emerging economies and evaluate them using a novel Intensity-Coverage framework at the world, regional, and income levels. Findings suggest that the portfolio and coverage of the policy tools adopted are larger despite limited resources, while having a bias toward fiscal stances. Poorer economies rely more on fiscal measures, unlike the richer ones. About the speaker Suborna Barua is Associate Professor of International Business at the University of Dhaka. He also works as a Sessional Lecturer at Federation University Australia and a part-time Research Fellow at Bangladesh Institute of Capital Market. With 15 years of blended experience in teaching, research and consulting, Dr. Barua regularly publishes top journals on finance, environment and sustainable development issues. His research and consultancies involve multinational corporations and development institutions including the World Bank and UNDP. Dr. Barua obtained his PhD from Federation University Australia and BBA and MBA in Finance from the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh.

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Online

15 Jul 2021

Webinar

Macroeconomics: Histories, Theories and Policies

This session will discuss the main issues raised by Alex M Thomas in his most recent book Macroeconomics: An Introduction (2021), Cambridge University Press: UK. The book takes you through an alternative approach of understanding macroeconomics, which is inspired by the works of Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes, and Piero Sraffa. It discusses the theories of money and interest rates, output and employment levels, and economic growth, apart from offering a critical account of the marginalist macroeconomic theories. Speaker's bio: Alex M Thomas teaches economics at Azim Premji University, Bengaluru, India. He studied economics at the universities of Madras, Hyderabad, and Sydney. His primary area of research is the history of economic thought, with a special focus on classical political economy. Some of his research has appeared in the Economic and Political Weekly, European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, History of Economics Review, and Journal of Interdisciplinary Economics. His book, [Macroeconomics: An Introduction] is now availablefor readers in India/ for readers worldwide. Format: This will be an interview based session, followed by Q & A. The interview will be conducted by Aneesha Chitgupi and Sattwick Dey Biswas. Alex M Thomas's new book: This session is a part of the larger project: Expanding the frontiers of economics: Evidence from South Asia This project aims to organize series of special sessions on emerging areas of research in Economics. By synthesizing theoretical assumptions of sociology, psychology, anthropology and political sciences, a new generation of researchers are rediscovering the principles which govern the actions and interaction among ‘economic (hu)man’.

Learn more

Online

5 Sep 2021

Webinar

Reimaging the IMF for a New Economic World Order

We are delighted to have Aqdas Afzal, the Program Director and Assistant Professor at the Social Development and Policy Program at Habib University in Karachi, Pakistan, who will be speaking on Reimaging the IMF for a New Economic World Order. We also extremely lucky to have Jayati Ghosh, Professor of Economics at UMass Amherst as the discussant! Abstract Where the Covid-19 pandemic has been an unmitigated health crisis, it has wreaked tremendous economic destruction in poor countries. Still, poor countries have not been able to implement appropriate counter cyclical policies or vaccinate their citizens due to the lack of fiscal space. As a result, the world is now facing a two-track “recovery.” The time has come to reimagine and make a case for a new IMF. The new IMF will draw inspiration from the ideas first presented by John Maynard Keynes at Bretton Woods. The new IMF will not only give more weight to poor and developing countries in decision making but will also be willing to use SDRs for transforming the poorest and hardest hit countries. Speaker's bio Aqdas Afzal is presently serving as the Program Director and Assistant Professor at the Social Development and Policy Program at Habib University in Karachi, Pakistan. Dr. Afzal attended The Ohio State University, where he earned his bachelor’s in political science and economics with a minor in Farsi. In 2006, he completed his master’s in political science from The Ohio State University and returned to his native Pakistan. In 2011, Dr. Afzal won the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to pursue a doctorate in economics at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. In 2013, While at the University of Missouri – Kansas City, Dr. Afzal taught as an adjunct faculty member at the Rockhurst University in Kansas City for over a year. Dr. Afzal has also participated in several seminars. These seminars include the “Minsky Summer School” at the Levy Economics Institute at Bard College and “Complexity in Social Systems and Economics” at the famous Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico. Dr. Afzal has also presented his research in several economics conferences in the United States. Dr. Afzal has also published in the Kansas City Business Journal, Journal of Economic Issues and in the International Journal for Pluralism and Economics Education. Aqdas Afzal also write regularly for DAWN, Pakistan’s premier English language newspaper. He tweets @AqdasAfzal. Discussant's bio Jayati Ghosh taught economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi for nearly 35 years. In January 2021, she will join the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has authored and/or edited 19 books, including Never Done and Poorly Paid: Women’s Work in Globalising India (Women Unlimited, New Delhi 2009); the co-edited Elgar Handbook of Alternative Theories of Economic Development (2014); Demonetisation Decoded (Routledge 2017), and Women Workers in the Informal Economy (Routledge forthcoming) and nearly 200 scholarly articles. She has received several prizes, including for distinguished contributions to the social sciences in India in 2015; the International Labour Organisation’s Decent Work Research Prize for 2010; the NordSud Prize for Social Sciences 2010, Italy. She has advised governments in India and other countries, including as Chairperson of the Andhra Pradesh Commission on Farmers’ Welfare in 2004, and Member of the National Knowledge Commission of India (2005-09). She is the Executive Secretary of International Development Economics Associates, an international network of heterodox development economists. She has consulted for international organizations including ILO, UNDP, UNCTAD, UN-DESA, UNRISD and UN Women and is a member of several international commissions, including the International Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation (ICRICT) and the Commission for Global Economic Transformation of INET. She writes regularly for newspapers, journals and blogs. Format Aqdas Afzal will be speaking for the first 20 minutes, followed by a discussion by Jayati Ghosh for 20 min. We will be open for Q&A afterwards. This session is a part of the larger project: Expanding the frontiers of economics: Evidence from South Asia This project aims to organize series of special sessions on emerging areas of research in Economics. By synthesizing theoretical assumptions of sociology, psychology, anthropology and political sciences, a new generation of researchers are rediscovering the principles which govern the actions and interaction among ‘economic (hu)man’.

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Working groups
  • South Asia
Project Organizers
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Sattwick Dey Biswas

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Aneesha Chitgupi

For questions, the Project Organizers.

YSI Webinar

Fighting the Pandemic: Policy Plurality and Response Performance

August 8 2021, 12:30

This session will discuss the recent paper written by Suborna Barua, Rubaiyat Shaimom Chowdhury and Sonia Rezina, titled, "One year of fighting the Covid-19 Pandemic: An analysis of policy plurality and response performance of emerging economies".

The speaker for the Session: Suborna Barua

Abstract

Emerging economies face resource availability and allocation constraints in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Understanding the policy responses of emerging economies could offer insights about their ability to sustain downturns and lead the future global economy. We carry out a detailed examination of the policy responses using data from the International Monetary Fund’s Policy Tracker database for 25 selected emerging economies and evaluate them using a novel Intensity-Coverage framework at the world, regional, and income levels. Findings suggest that the portfolio and coverage of the policy tools adopted are larger despite limited resources, while having a bias toward fiscal stances. Poorer economies rely more on fiscal measures, unlike the richer ones.

About the speaker

Suborna Barua is Associate Professor of International Business at the University of Dhaka. He also works as a Sessional Lecturer at Federation University Australia and a part-time Research Fellow at Bangladesh Institute of Capital Market. With 15 years of blended experience in teaching, research and consulting, Dr. Barua regularly publishes top journals on finance, environment and sustainable development issues. His research and consultancies involve multinational corporations and development institutions including the World Bank and UNDP. Dr. Barua obtained his PhD from Federation University Australia and BBA and MBA in Finance from the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Recording

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Time & Date

Start: August 8 2021, 12:30*

Duration: 60 minutes

*Time is displayed in your local time zone (Africa/Abidjan).

Presenters
External Presenter

Suborna Barua

Dr. Associate Professor

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Topic: Fighting the Pandemic: Policy Plurality and Response Performance

Time: August 8 2021, 12:30 (Timezone: Africa/Abidjan)

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