Archive for August 12th, 2013

Impact of modernising meat industry on butcher community (in Delhi)..

August 12, 2013

An enlightening case study in ,last week’s EPW on meat industry in Delhi. It is by Zarin Ahmad.

On 29 October 2009, the Supreme Court of India passed a judgment ordering the final closure of the 95-year-old Idgah abattoir in Delhi. The abattoir was shifted to a mechanised modern plant in the eastern fringes of the city. Using the issue of relocation and modernisation as a starting point, this essay addresses the impact of planning and transformation of urban spaces on traditional and marginal occupations. Located in a multi-sited ethnography of the working lives of people in the meat sector, it emphasises the complexities of understanding an entangled reality. Butchers live and work in an intricate web of social, spatial and occupational relations. Hence, spatial and technologicalrelocation is not only about losing skill sets and livelihoods. It challenges the very access to labour and uproots people from social and emotional spaces critical for stigmatised and marginal occupations who draw strength and support from familiar landscapes.

Apart from this, it also points to logistics of meat industry in Delhi (and should be similar in other cities).

A kind of paper which gets no credit from econs in general as they only look at consumers and competition while studying modernisation. They usually ignore how certain key players get marginalised in the process and have nothing much to do post the changes. It is assumed that labor would get relocated to some other industry as if it was such an easy thing to do.

Such studies give a more comprehensive picture of what really goes on…

Senator Robert Owen of Oklahoma and the Federal Reserve’s Formative Years

August 12, 2013

RBI celebrated its 75th year of  foundation in 2010. But there was hardly any research/interesting account etc of RBI’s history by macroeconomists/econ historians. Yes, Govt and RBI have embarked on a huge RBI history project whose final volume is to be presented this week. But this requires a lot of reading  and nothing like what happens elsewhere where  historians/macro guys keep interpreting episodes from history of their central banks and draw comparisons from present times.

If there is one request I have from  Governor-elect of RBI (what a fancy title!), it is to ask RBI researches to also look at RBI history. And may be even have econ historians in RBI’s research dept.  There is just no clue of what were the key moments in RBI’s history.  it is even more surprising as it was Keynes himself who played a central role in formation of RBI. So there should be some interest.

So as Fed celebrates its 100th year, we have many papers pointing to several approaches on Fed history. Some have compared how Fed  has fared all these years, some whether Fed did a better job than First and Second Bank and so on.

Now, this paper points  to some interesting political economy of how Fed was formed. It is by Chad Wilkerson of Kansas Fed.

It points to the role Senator Robert Owen played in formation of Fed. Even more interestingly, he understood the role of monetary policy much better than Fed officials and even before we had mainstream mon policy theories:


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