Prof. Sankar is one of the most versatile applied economists in India. He can delve into Bayesian methods of estimating production functions and tackling errors in the variables. He can painstakingly build and input-output transactions table. He can recommend pricing policies for multi-product monopolies and can carry out an expected utility analysis to understand agricultural decision-making under uncertainty. He can design economic instruments for pollution abatement and carry out a techno-economic analysis of the Indian Space programme. His research in all these areas has been a most fruitful blend of methodological and applied work, a great achievement that has been widely recognised and appreciated both by academicians and by policy makers. This volume is a collection of contributions made by some of his long-term associates, meant as a token of appreciation for his invaluable contributions.
The papers here, many of them by internationally recognised academicians, either suggest refinements and expansions to the existing tool kit for economic analysis, of suggest improved methods to conceptualise issues or analyse the economic implications of delivery mechanisms and the institutions in which they are embedded. Most economic data contain measurement errors and how can we tackle them? How can a physician choose the optimal dose of insulin since the costs of a dosage that is too low are very different from the costs of a dosage that are too high? Do we have an understanding of the factors that are responsible for the differential growth performances of different economies? In analysing the agricultural growth would we not be better off in viewing it as a biochemical process than as a primary factors centred process? Can the muddled reform process in the environmental price paid for a rapid increase in agricultural production? Is there an economic rationale to value community labour spent on common property resource? How do we translate a relative view of absolute poverty into working tools to enable measurement and policy interventions?
These are a sampling of the kind of issues dealt with. This volume would be a valuable reference for students, academicians and policy makers.