Date of Submission


Date of Award


Institute Name (Publisher)

Indian Statistical Institute

Document Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Subject Name

Quantitative Economics


Economics and Planning Unit (EPU-Delhi)


Parikh, Kirit S. (EPU-Delhi; ISI)

Abstract (Summary of the Work)

This study deala wi th the selection of technological al ternaid ves of production, a problom referred to as choice of techninues" in ecommie theory. Selection of an appropriate technique (or a technolo gical al ternative) haa to be Bede with ro spe et to speci fied objectives and avail phle reDurces. Selection of proper techniques from smong many avall ablo el ternatives ha boen one of the min tasks whilu planni ng for econonio development. Generally develooping co untries like India are handi capped by problema of BCerci ty of on-lebour reaources, abundant labour force, lini ted foreign-aid, 1inited tochni cal know-how otc. to nention but a few of hem. Hatnce detailed exercises on choieu of te chni quea, Beparately for each sector of a given eco nom y taking al1 the relatad constraints and objeatives into acco unt, are of great significance for proper planning. subjact natter of this project work is one such exercise.The teahnionlal ternati ves are identi fied through engincering anal yals and the choice of te chniquen is mede in the context of the objecti ven of econonic planning. In particuler, theare invostigated.This atuay 1s confined to the oonstructiorrseswr vr the Indian conomy. Conatruction inel udes buildi ngs, road and bridgen, dana, irri gntion works, industri al plants etc. This study however, co vers only buildi gt and road construction.The two exercises (for buildings and ro ads) proceedod in the followi ng wayt First the output is fixed as explained later in this chapter. Kext, ll the poasible technical nl ternati vea of producing thin output are identified. Thon611 the tocht eed na aconomie conatraints, if any, are fo mul ated. Optimal levels of the technical al termatives wi ta rempect to the specified objecti ve (cost minimisation or emplo yment maxinisetion) aro then obtad ned by neans of linear pogramming model.Various appro nches have been adopted previounl y in dealing with the problens of choice of techniques. Generally statistical data, cross section or tino neries collected at the fim or pl ant le vel have been used in these approschos to identi fy various availahle al terneti ve techniques. The resul te bnaed on auch ex-post data may not reveal the full po tential nexibility and acope for choice of techni ques. Anal yais besed on theno date go ts confri ned only to the renge of statisticsl observntiona which may be qui te narrow. In addi tion, these approaches generally identify - 3 - only tuo feetora, capi tal and labour, and treat them as hono ge neo un pods. Two pointa are to be noted heret of techniques in the context of income distri bution in the ao ele ty.(a) Only capi tal and labour are considered as variahles and ourrent inputa are not; this nay be alright if the output is narrowly defined in which er se, not much change in the levels of current inputs is expected be tween techniquea. Ho we vor, if output is defined by the functional needs that tiey natisfy, the changes in current inputa nay become ai gni ficant and should be consi dered while selecting techniques.


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