Sunday, March 06, 2011

To keep it alive

Say you're researching/writing an article about the 'demographic dividend'. Say you're hypothesizing that it is the single biggest factor in India's recent economic growth. Say your evidence is the differences in inter state growth rates and inter-state working age population, between those states are doing well and those that aren't doing so well. Say your evidence shows you that the working age population in UP/MP/Bihar actually *declined* between 1991 and 2001.

What would your reaction be?

Option A. "Oh dude, I forgot. Migration. Let's dig deeper. and re-hypothesize."

Option B. "Uh-oh. Nevermind, who's gonna get that anyway. Let's publish."

Option C. "Damn! That's like the last piece in this tremendous body of evidence. Brilliant, let's publish!".

If your response is B or C, congratulations! You are now fit to write for Mint Lounge's economics coloumn.


Forgive the vitriol, it's been very long.

5 comments:

doubtinggaurav said...

"Forgive the vitriol, it's been very long."

The wait was worth it :-)

avataram said...

While it maybe correlation rather than causal, I feel that years of killing girl children at birth may have resulted in these states losing the demographic dividend.

Number of women entering working age in these states is 10%-15% lower as that many are killed at birth. 10%-15% of working age men migrate to other states just to get married.

This may be worth a freakonomics kind of study, but it will never get done in India.

Anonymous said...

The livemint blog mentions a fall in the working age ratio. You seem to believe it is about a fall in the working age population. I refuse to take your ranting seriously if you cannot make the elementary distinction between an absolute number and a ratio.

zen babu said...

Right. Very stupid of me to have overlooked that. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I think, options presented in the blog by the author as well as his observation is good. However, isn't that the beauty of a research article .. someone always forgets a few critical angles while presenting a 360 degree view!