My research interests lie in
International trade in services
Growth and development with emphasis on service sector
Analysis of terrorism.
"Land Acquisition and Industrial Growth," Indian Growth and Development Review, 2015, coauthored with Anuradha Saha
"Growth of Business Services: A Supply-Side Hypothesis," Canadian Journal of Economics, 2015, coauthored with Anuradha Saha
"Preemption, Deterrence and Panic: A Common-Enemy Problem of Terrorism," Economic Inquiry, 2014, coauthored with Prabal Roy Chowdhury
"Why Direct Counter-Terror (CT) Measures May Not Work? Direct and Preventive CT Measures," coauthored with Sajal Lahiri, forthcoming in the International Journal of Economic Theory
Abstract: We present a model of three-period game between a terrorist organization (Org) and a defending state (State), where the Org chooses aggregate terror input and the State chooses (a) the level of preemptive measures which shift the marginal cost curve facing the Org and hence affect the supply curve of terror, and (b) the level of redressal of grievances of the Org's population which affects the derived demand for terror as a means to an `end' (demand). (a) and (b) are interpreted respectively as direct and preventive counter-terrorism (CT) measures (equivalently as stick and carrot policies). There is two-sided asymmetric information: the Org and the State do not fully know each other's preferences. A central result is an `impossibility theorem' that the State cannot win the war on terror with preemptive measures only as long as the marginal cost of preemptive measures is increasing. In general, the optimal response of the State to an exogenous increase in terrorism or militancy is to increase preemption as well as grant more grievance redressal. Hence, direct and preventive CT measures complement each other towards countering terrorism: they are not substitutes. The core model is extended to consider an increase in terrorism due to anger and frustration arising from collateral damage associated with preemptive strikes, the presence of heterogeneous groups within a terrorist organization such as moderates and hardliners, a piecemeal conciliatory offer of less preemption and more grievance redressal by the State, and Bayesian learning by the Org of the preference of the State if the State grants any further grievance redressal.
Work in Progress
"Country Size, Per-Capita Income and Comparative Advantage: Services Versus Manufacturing," coauthored with Scott Bradford and Anuradha Saha
Abstract: The paper explores the differences in the trade pattern of manufacturing and services. It shows that larger (respectively smaller) countries, both in terms of total size and per-capita income, are likely to have comparative advantage in manufacturing (respectively services). The paper builds a multi-country theoretical trade model featuring non-homotheticity of preferences and differences in the degree of national product differentiation between manufacturing and services and uncovers two reasons behind such differential trade patterns: demand bias in consumption towards services away from manufacturing, and, a higher degree of national product differentiation in services than in manufacturing. Based on data on trade over 2005-2016, indices of comparative advantage in manufacturing and services are, respectively, shown to be positively and negatively related with the measures of country size and per-capita income, supporting the theoretical predictions.
"Non-Balanced Growth: The Role of Land," coauthored with Anuradha Saha
Abstract: The paper analyzes the role of land in explaining non-balanced growth in an economy. It develops a three-sector, closed-economy model, with agriculture, manufacturing and services sectors. The central assumption is that agriculture is most intensive in the use of land, followed by manufacturing and then services. Exogenous growth in sectoral TFP and labor serve and endogenous evolution of capital form the basis of growth. It is shown that if TFP growth rate differences are small, the ranking of sectoral output growth rates is the reverse of that of sectoral land-intensity, i.e., the growth rate is the fastest in the services sector, followed by manufacturing and then agriculture. The same growth ranking is preserved in the presence of capital accumulation if services are the most capital-intensive sector, followed by manufacturing and then agriculture. We also decompose sectoral growth differentials to analyze the strengths of the different sources of growth. We find that in short run land intensity differences play a larger role in explaining non-balanced growth and in long run the capital intensity differences have a larger explanatory power.