The nature of development economics

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Unnayaner Orthonity, Rizwanul Islam, The University Press Limited, July 2010

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Prominent development economist Amartya Sen won the Nobel Prize in 1998. He is the author of Development as freedom. Freedom, according to Sen, “is both the most efficient and effective means of sustaining economic life and the key to ensuring the general well-being of all the world’s population… In the new world economy… the contemporary world denies elementary freedom to a large number … it is still possible to restrict concretely and optimistically the sense of social responsibility. The Nobel laureate thus brings an “ethical dimension” to the technical study of economics.
Unnayaner’s Orthonity concerns development economics. And development economics is a branch of economics that deals with the economics of the development process in low-income countries. It focuses on economic growth and structural change with an emphasis on enhancing the potential of the mass population through public and private channels in the areas of health, education, employment and other fields.
Of the eleven sections of the book, the most exciting reading comes at the end: What kind of economic growth is Bangladesh achieving? It is based on the article from Islam presented at an international seminar on “Bangladesh’s Development Prospects: Emerging Challenges”, organized by the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies in Dhaka in December 2007. The impact of the global economic crisis has wiped out the country’s GDP. 7% growth rate as projected by the Asian Development Bank. Table 11.1 clearly shows that the GDP per capita in 2005 in Bangladesh was $ 470, India $ 720, Pakistan $ 690 and Sri Lanka $ 1160. Based on the 1995-96 price indexes, Table 11.2 shows the GDP as a percentage of various sectors. GDP, inflation rate and industrial production are shown in Figures 11.2 and 11.3. Employment figures for various industrial sectors between 1983 and 2002 show a dramatic increase in employment in the clothing sector, with a much smaller increase in the paper and cement industries.
The second section of the book deals with economic history. Inductive analysis methods identify growth stages, leading to international economic disparity p.35. All societies fall within one of the five stages: the traditional society, the prerequisites for take-off, the actual take-off, the race to maturity, and the age of great mass consumption. See WWRostow: Stages of Economic Growth: A Non-Communist Manifesto 1966.
The 1930 Harrod-Domer model suggests that savings provide the funds that are borrowed for investment purposes. The rate of growth of the economy depends on savings, the savings rate and the ratio of capital production.
Karl Marx advanced the theory that human civilization manifested itself in a series of organizational structures, each determined by its primary mode of production, in particular the division of labor that dominates each stage of development: tribal form, communism primitive, feudal or inheritance property. and capitalism.
The economic development in developing countries covered in section three is about the dual economy, that is, the existence of two distinct economies within one country. Lewis develops this as the labor supply theory of the rural exodus. In addition, a differentiation is established between a low-income subsistence rural sector with a surplus population and an expanding urban capitalist sector. The role of capital accumulation in the industrialization of the surplus labor economy known as the Fei-Ranis model is also discussed. The examination of this model is done by formulating an imbalance adjustment model of a dual economy.
The fourth section was devoted to a discussion of inequalities and poverty. The interdependence between the concept of inequality, the distribution of income and the stage of economic growth is examined. Next, the steps to reduce inequality in income distribution and its follow-up in poverty reduction are discussed.
Based on twenty-eight references, economic growth, employment and poverty reduction in sections five and six raise the crucial question: can agriculture on its own be the engine of economic growth? ‘a country ? This refers to the seminal works of Schultz: Transforming Traditional Agriculture (1964) and of Johnston and Mellor: “The Role of Agriculture in Economic Development” (1961). The discussion is based on data analysis and experiences from some Asian countries.
Then, section seven discusses the importance of non-farm activities in a rural economy. The role of these activities in reducing poverty and reducing inequalities through income distribution are also discussed. Industrialization and economic development, especially industrialization strategies, and the scope of employment fall under section nine.
Section ten focuses on economic development and international organizations with a brief assessment of the activities of the IMF and the World Bank. The first section is an overview of economic and human development.
The writer Rizwanul Islam lived in Geneva for a long time. Upon his return to the country, the UPL asked the writer to write in Bengali about the economy of Bangladesh. Based on the agreed content that would be covered in his work, the writer submitted a draft outline for the text. To this was added section ten. It was in May 2007, when the writer was commissioned by University Press Limited to do the work.
The purpose of this Bengali publication is fundamentally to improve global awareness on basic topics such as economics. It will certainly be of benefit to teachers and students as well as to readers in general. Particularly for those less fluent in English, this work will deepen their understanding of economic and development issues. Many past UPL publications have covered academic issues in Bengali. It is encouraging to know that the publishing house intends to offer more writing in Bengali on basic subjects in the future.
The book has been generously acclaimed by some development authors in Bangladesh. We can note here Professor Wahiduddin Mahmud, Moshiur Rahman and Akbar Ali Khan, who recognize its relevance for an understanding of contemporary economic realities in Bangladesh.
The book is a seminal work on the development economy of Bangladesh. In this concise and compact edition, detailed analysis and understanding of economic “essentials” in Bengali is presented. This small volume, of two hundred and twenty pages in all, is particularly recommended to all students, teachers, academics, researchers and readers for whom reading in Bengali is natural, a matter of habit. However, this excludes the possibility of presenting this beautiful work of international level abroad. Sad, I say, unless, of course, the writer intends to reproduce it in English.

Farida Shaikh is a critic, critic and member of the Reading Circle.

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