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About the Journal | Editorial Board | Guidelines for Contributors | Subscription and Tariff | Current Issue | Back Issues  


review of
development & Change
Volume XX I  Number 1, January - June 2016

Emerging Markets and Development: Is There a Contradiction?

Jayati Ghosh                                                                                      

Malcolm Adiseshiah Lecture 2015

Transporting India to the 2030s: What do We Need to do?

Rakesh Mohan                                                                                   

Founder’s Day Lecture 2016

Utilisation of Health Care Among Elderly in an Urban Slum in Tamil Nadu

Gayathri Balagopal


According to the Census of India 2011, the elderly (population aged 60 years and above) in Tamil Nadu constituted 10.4 per cent of the total population. This article examines the level and nature of self-reported morbidity, functional health and disability among the elderly in an urban slum in Tamil Nadu and how they cope with ill health (utilisation of health care as outpatients and financing of health expenditure) using an adaptation of Guhan’s (1994) social security framework. The survey highlighted considerably high morbidity, restriction of usual activity and dietary changes due to illness among the elderly respondents in the slum coupled with a significant proportion of untreated illnesses, reflecting that health care was far from universal. Although more than half of the elderly, particularly women, used public health facilities, utilisation of private health care was not insignificant. Not surprisingly, the bulk of financing of health expenditure was through out-of-pocket payment.

Use of Kerosene for Cooking in India: Recent Trends and Environmental Implications

K.S. Kavi Kumar and Brinda Viswanathan


The Central government, in a recent announcement, brought kerosene under the direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme like liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), and excluded richer households from the LPG subsidy. Both these policies are intended to control kerosene leakages to uses other than for lighting, to improve the progressivity of subsidies for both these energy sources and to reduce the fiscal burden associated with these subsidies. Using the National Sample Survey (NSS) data for two recent rounds corresponding to the years 2009-10 and 2011-12, the present study explores the environmental implications of kerosene accessed through the public distribution system (PDS) and the open market. The study finds that kerosene plays a significant role in the household energy mix and a comparison over the two recent NSS periods shows that with a reduction in access to kerosene, households tend to move down the energy ladder and switch to inferior fuels like dung and agricultural residue, which leads to an increase in indoor air pollution. Though the change in subsidy policies are welcome, this study argues that in the absence of clear alternatives for lighting in rural areas and cooking in urban areas, the phasing out of kerosene as  cooking fuel should be carried out gradually and cautiously.

Economic Valuation of Wetland Ecosystem Services: A Contingent Valuation Approach

L. Venkatachalam and Jayanthi M.


Wetlands generate multiple ecosystem services, a part of which enters the production and consumption functions of firms and households. Since most of these services are ‘non-marketed’ in nature, the existing institutions fail to capture the economic value that society would place on them. As a result, the economic importance of wetlands gets undermined, resulting in sub-optimal allocation of resources for wetland protection. Internalising negative externalities and protecting wetlands calls for a monetary valuation of the ensuing non-market benefits and costs, which are reflected in terms of preferences of individuals and households. Pallikaranai marshland, one of the three largest wetlands in Tamil Nadu and the only surviving marshland in Chennai metropolitan area, is becoming more vulnerable to various negative externalities that affect both the quantity and quality of its ecosystem services utilised by society. In recent years, the Government of Tamil Nadu has been investing society’s scarce resources to improve the quality of the marshland. What are the expected economic benefits that urban households would derive from such an improvement? A contingent valuation method (CVM) was used among randomly selected households around the marshland to elicit their marginal willingness to pay (WTP) for different levels of improvements in the marshland. The paper discusses the results of the contingent valuation survey as well as the validity of such results.

Tenements, Ghettos, or Neighbourhoods? Outcomes of Slum-Clearance Interventions in Chennai

Karen Coelho                                                                                     


This paper assesses the outcomes of 30 years of slum clearance efforts in Chennai. It employs a set of six criteria derived from the global literature on best practices in slum clearance to examine the strengths and weaknesses of the four principal approaches implemented in the city since the 1970s — in situ tenement construction, in situ slum upgrading, sites-and-services and resettlement tenements. The paper finds the overall record bleak: only one of the eight cases reveals a transformation into a durable mainstream urban neighbourhood, while the rest have remained slum-like tenements or turned into ghettos. The paper shows how lessons from history are ignored in contemporary state actions on slums. The approach of mass resettlement in peripheral tenements, despite its proven failure, has resurfaced as the favoured technology of slum clearance, driven by the exigencies of real estate urbanism. These findings bring into question the role of evidence-based policy in state actions.


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