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Globalization and its Effects on Regional Variations in Factor Substitution and Returns to Scale in the Indian Factory Sector

Mishra, SK (2007): Globalization and its Effects on Regional Variations in Factor Substitution and Returns to Scale in the Indian Factory Sector.

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Abstract

The issue of inequality or imbalance in sectional, sectoral or regional distribution of economic and social variables is connected to welfare implications of the functioning of an economy responsible for allocation of resources, and production, distribution and consumption of the material requisites of well-being. Economic development and technological progress may or may not deliver justice in the Rawls’ sense although such development and progress might be perfectly just in Mill’s or Nietzsche’s sense.

Inequalities and their dynamics are often studied in terms of collectives of gross variables – income, amenities and facilities, infrastructure, etc. – that directly impinge on the welfare of the people. However, deeper parameters are seldom studied in this regard. Nevertheless, these parameters - such as propensities to consume and save, rate and direction of substitution of factors of production, returns to scale, bias of technical progress, concentration of monopoly power, etc are altered in the process of development and determine the gross economic variables for a fairly long period.

In this study we make an attempt to look into the spatial/regional distribution of a few structural parameters in the factory sector of India and purport to examine if, in the wake of globalization, there have been substantial changes in their distribution. Our main apparatus of analysis is ‘production functions’ that permit variable elasticities of factor substitution and returns to scale. We use data at the state level for 1990-91 and 2003-04 for our analysis.

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