Articles
THE IDEA OF UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME IN INDIA: AN ANALYSIS

Virender Kumar and Shivani Kanojia

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The idea of universal basic income (UBI) has been assuming great importance in today’s world because the existing welfare schemes have failed in addressing the problem of poverty effectively. The existing schemes are generally mired in red-tapism, data manipulation, exclusion error, corruption, high leakages and high administrative and implementation costs. The system of UBI overcomes above issues through (i) its feature of being un-conditional and universal, and (ii) through transfer of a guaranteed income directly to the beneficiaries. In this context, the paper concludes that UBI can be a good alternative to all the existing welfare schemes to reduce poverty in India. However, the introduction of UBI currently faces many practical difficulties and hence it should be implemented only in a gradual manner.

GANDHI: AN IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBILITY

Sudhir Chandra

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Gandhi: An impossible possibility elucidates on the last days of Gandhi’s journey into the mortal world and the struggles that he encountered during these days. It explicates on Gandhi’s philosophical inclinations and how that inspired him in shaping the India of his dreams and underwent a gradual change when his end was approaching. It seeks to understand the dilemmas that Gandhi was caught in during his last days, his sorrows, both at a personal level and national level which brought a marked change in his state of mind and his desire to not live any longer.

CONFIDENCE: THE SURPRISING TRUTH ABOUT HOW MUCH YOU NEED AND HOW TO GET IT

Tomas Chamorro

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From bygone times, people have been postulating that optimism plays an imperative role in the success of a human being. Martin Seligman, the renowned Psychologist and Educator also emphasised on the theory of learned optimism. The fruits of optimistic thinking cannot be certainly denied, when one reads his decades of work on positive psychology. However, there is an existing intriguing yet contradictory theory on Optimism which makes it even more interesting and significant to read Tomas Chamorro work on Confidence and Competence.

DELHI CITIZENS’ HANDBOOK: GOVERNMENT TO CITIZEN SERVICES

Annavajhula J. C. Bose

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The study of citizenship is not only topical but also a large, variegated, everchanging subject. The truth in this regard is that there is no consensus on the idea of citizenship in terms of rights and duties, feelings, status, identities, etc. and for large numbers of people throughout the world the idea of citizenship is still hollow and empty and meaningless, deprived as they are of virtually all of its amenities (Heater, 2002). In this milieu, it is very heartening that the Centre for Civil Society as an NGO involved in bringing about social change through public policy, has taken initiative to bring out this study that gives the reader the empirical flavour about amenities to the Delhi citizens.

STACKELBERG LEADERSHIP BY A PRICE FOLLOWER

C. Saratchand and Nidhi Bagaria

1st April 2017

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The Cournot-Bertrand model of oligopoly was introduced in the 1970s. It involved some firms being price setters while other firms were output setters. However there remained a question about the identity of the entity which changed the prices of the output setting firms. An alternative formulation of this problem is set out where in an industry there is a price leader and a price follower. But the price follower is a Stackelberg leader. The price follower tries to estimate the reaction function of the price leader through an iterative learning process and incorporate the former into its profit maximisation exercise. Thereby the price follower tries to factor in the consequences of changes in its output on the price it receives. The equilibrium, local stability and analogy of the model with respect to the Cournot-Bertrand model of oligopoly are examined. Such a set-up is compatible with constant returns to scale of the production process of the price follower.

MACROECONOMIC POLICIES AND STOCK MARKET PERFORMANCE IN NIGERIA

Ndubuisi Jamani and Kennedy Prince Modugu

1st April 2017

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This study investigates the impact of fiscal and monetary policies on stock market performance in Nigeria using the Structural Vector Autoregressive (VAR) techniques. Using Yearly data covering the period 1981-2013, the VAR procedure was employed to empirically show the impact of fiscal and monetary policies on stock market performance. Results from the empirical analysis show that monetary policy has the capacity to influence stock market performance in Nigeria. Also, monetary policy shocks are not unstable in their effects on stock market. The results also show that fiscal policy impacts on stock market performance. In comparative terms, monetary policy appears to have a stronger effect on stock market performance than fiscal policy. However, there appears not to be any unsystematic response of stock market performance to shocks in both policies. It is therefore recommended that attention should be given to stock market reaction to monetary and fiscal policy moves. Consequently, the policy direction in this regard should be such that is able to stimulate the performance of the stock market.

BACKTESTING VAR MODELS: THE CASE OF COMMODITIES

Devesh Shankar, Prateek Bedi, Shalini Agnihotri and Jappanjyot Kaur Kalra

1st April 2017

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One of the most widely used methods to quantify risk is ‘Value at Risk’. VaR models are useful only if they predict future risks accurately. This paper focuses on a comparative evaluation of three broad approaches to calculate VaR for nine commodities traded on Multi Commodity Exchange of India. The primary objective of the study is to identify the most accurate VaR model for each commodity in particular and commodity asset class in general. VaR is calculated using five different methods (two methods each of parametric & non-parametric approaches and one method of semi-parametric approach) for all nine commodities for a period of nine years starting October 2006 till October 2015. To identify the better performing VaR methods accurately, the analysis is performed in two phases, Pre-Crisis (October 2006 to December 2009) and Post Crisis (January 2010 to October 2015). Results suggest Volatility Weighted Historical Simulation (VWHS) VaR method has outperformed other methods in both parts of the analysis exhibiting a success ratio of 100% each time. We also conclude that the selection of similar or contrasting data periods in terms of market conditions for VaR calculation and VaR backtesting affects the performance of VaR methods in general. These findings are relevant for retail and institutional investors who hold commodities in their portfolios and traders who need to calculate VaR for their commodity portfolios.

INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT AND SPILLOVERS IN THE INDIAN ECONOMY

Aasheerwad Dwivedi

1st April 2017

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Being one of the fastest growing economies, India has not only withstood the recent crisis and recovered fast, but also has emerged with brighter prospects amidst the global uncertainties. The growth in Indian economy has been fueled predominantly by the service sector. With recent initiatives by the Government, the manufacturing sector is expected to play a vital role in the growth story of India in coming years. One of the impediments for industrial growth in India has been considered to be lack of world-class infrastructure. To maintain high growth and take other diversified stakeholders of an emerging economy like India, it is indispensable to invest more for infrastructure development. In this paper, we have created a physical infrastructure index for the economy, to track the infrastructure status and pace of improvement in the infrastructure. We analyze whether infrastructure has a role in increasing GDP and manufacturing sector output, using data for the period 1981-2011. Using Vector Error Correction Model (VECM), we delineate that infrastructure has both long term and short term positive impacts on output of Indian economy. On the other hand, infrastructure has no short run impact on manufacturing output but has a significant long term positive impact on manufacturing output. This affirms that infrastructure plays significant role in stimulating growth in the economy.

RATES OF EQUITY RETURN - A DISAGGREGATIVE ANALYSIS: EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE FROM INDIA

Shveta Singh, P. K. Jain, and Surendra S. Yadav

1st April 2017

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Flexibility in investments helps an investor optimize his investment portfolio to suit his return-risk profile, which keeps changing with time. The motivation for this study arose from a significant research gap. There have been scant studies on the dis-aggregative aspects affecting investments. This paper assesses Indian equity returns (from the investors’ point of view) factoring both sources of income – viz., dividends and capital gains. Further, the objective of this paper was to enrich the flexibility of the reader/investor, on equity investments, by analyzing dis-aggregative parameters like age, size, ownership structure and underlying sector/industry affiliation and their impact (if any) on returns. This would provide the investor with the much desired flexibility in designing his/her portfolio. The sample for the study comprises of the NSE 500 companies and the period, under study, is spread over the past 15 years (2001-2014). The chosen sample (NSE 500 companies) represent 96.76 per cent of the free-float market capitalization and 97.01 per cent of the traded value of the stocks listed on the NSE as on December 31, 2013. According to the findings, the returns vary along with the various segregates, providing the investors diversification opportunities, based on the same. A negative correlation appears between the age of companies and returns. Further, small and medium sized companies yield higher returns compared to their large counterparts. The apparent ‘age’ and ‘size’ anomalies are also indicative of the status of market efficiency.

STAKEHOLDERS INFLUENCE ON SUSTAINABILITY DISCLOSURES: AN EMPIRICAL INVESTIGATION

Geetanjali Batra, R.K. Singh and Jai Prakash Sharma

1st April 2017

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Sustainability of a business may be expressed as the capacity of an organisation to continue its operations over a long period of time and depends to a large extent on stakeholder relationships. Sustainability reporting is being used as a communication tool to highlight organisation commitment towards sustainability and enhance relationships with stakeholders. With some stakeholder groups being in a position to influence the quality of sustainability disclosures, the objective of this paper is to find if the quality of disclosures in sustainability reports is influenced by pressure from key stakeholders groups like customers, investors, employees and NGOs or environmental organisations. To achieve the objectives a dimension of quality of sustainability disclosures is extracted using Principal Component analysis (PCA) technique of factor analysis. Industrial sector, listing status and size of the organisation are used as proxy for stakeholder salience. Using step wise multiple linear regression, the study finds causal relationship between quality of disclosures and stakeholder salience. The results show that organisations operating in environmentally sensitive sector, consumer contiguous sector, financial sector, in areas where sustainability reporting is regulated, large size and listed organisations and provide high quality disclosures.